Explosive events in the 20th century gave us the pop-culture notion of the nuclear option.
That is to say that sometimes our old ways, our old ideas, our old just about everything needs to be blown to bits to make way for something new and, hopefully, better.
Let’s invoke the nuclear option as it applies to the nuclear family. The usual, narrow definition of the nuclear family is that it includes 2 parents and their biological or adopted offspring. Je suis mécontent! There’s just a wee bit of a physics problem here.
At the center of any atom, with all of its electrons swirling about, is a nucleus of protons and neutrons. This nucleus is the hub around which all of the action happens. No hub, no action. No nucleus, no atom. No electrons, no atom (at least, I think no atom*. Where is Bill Nye when you need him?).
Looked at a little differently, all the stuff bound together at the center of the atom is the nucleus (the hub, or better, the wellspring); all the busy, buzzy swirling things zipping around the nucleus are the electrons (the offspring). I suggest that this is a better model for understanding a nuclear family. I also suggest that there are many kinds of nuclear families in addition to the 2 parents, 1.93 children, 1.6 dogs, 1.8 cats, 1 parakeet, 1 pet rock, and the goldfish that was sadly flushed down the toilet 3 days ago.
Tabby’s Place (our fearless leader, the staff, and all of the cats) is the hub of the greater goodness that abounds. Tabby’s Place is THE wellspring. We – the volunteers, the donors, the cheerleaders – are all the busy, buzzy swirling things zipping around that wellspring, moved to action and interaction.
Understanding that, let’s keep going with the nuclear option and blow this thing up Michael Bay-style. Let’s start with everything we think we know about what families provide. So long nature vs nurture! Instead, let’s have nature in tandem with nurture. Hmm, let’s go just a bit further and add nourishment to the mix.
By this New New Math, it all adds up to the fact that we not only form a complete atom on a macro scale, we somehow form a family…no, wait, that’s the Brady Bunch.
Okay, shaking that off, let’s review the constituent parts. We have “The Wellspring” (Tabby’s Place – The True Source; The Hub; The Core). We have “The Offspring” (That’s us! The busy bees doing our thing!). And, we have Nature + Nurture + Nourishment (The things we busily do – the swirling, whirling, business end).
No matter how zany the math, it all adds up. We work towards a common goal. We meet the needs of our irrevocably beloved kitties. We provide unconditional love (really, truly!) by loving all of the cats in any and all health conditions from any and all circumstances (not to mention countries of origin).
There is an ever-shifting Venn diagram of how our relationships ebb and flow, of the interconnectedness of All Things Tabby’s. Naturally, every pairing of person and cat – or cat and cat…or person and person – varies from the next. Yet, all of our orbits are in sync around our hub. We are a macroscopic atom with Tabby’s Place at the core. We are a nuclear family.
To sum it all up, Tabby’s Place is The Addams Family. Oops, no, I got that wrong. Tabby’s Place is The Atom Family. That’s enough to blow anyone’s mind.
*Want to know more about actual atoms? Check this out.
Pictured top to bottom: fabulous family members Elliot, Ciabatta, Audrey, Agnes, Olivia, Princess Charming