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Family

Notes to be expanded:

Family usually the strongest organized unit. Adoption and redefinition are common.

"Purity" in families of note is seldom genetic so much as accomplishment, so that adopted members are regarded as "pure" just as genetic descendants. However, there is a strong strand of pride in genetic characteristics of famous families showing up in members regardless of actual family name. (See history of the Deis for the most spectacular example. This also goes for the Landises, who are the world's oldest family, but no one would ever praise them for their beauty.) Thus it makes sense for the Colendi to say proudly that Lyren Sartora Fer Eider is a Dei, or for the Sartorans to identify the new king, Rel Landis, as a Mondros.

Redefinition can happen at the adult level (parental partners becoming permanent members of the family) or at the child level, when children are taken in. There are few laws about adoption, except at the social level that brings along vast inheritances and questions of who gets what. In most cases people regard the aduption as final when they go to the Heralds and have the new name written into the records.

People can be unadopted, disowned, and divorced. All these require judgment before the constituted authority, whatever that may be. The authority will be examining the case to determine if there is coercion or conspiracy taking place. In most places tradition, custom, and even law can mandate that such hearings must be public--just as weddings and namings are public. Witnesses make changes of state as real as words written in a book of records. (And there are many people who find entertainment in attending such sessions, especially in notorious cases.) This holds true all the way to the top of social ranks.

Family Life

This is of course vast generalization. Babies tend to be everyone in the family's charge (except when there are paid governesses and tutors). Babies are commonly breast fed, wet nurses being used when needed. The services of a wet nurse do not require actual presence; magic has long made it possible to extract human milk from a wet nurse. This service is arranged through healers, and generally lasts half a year, at which time the child is shifted gradually to cow's or goat's milk.

Cleaning frames were actually developed for diapers first, then gradually the magic was developed for other particles to be removed from the body. The Waste Spell is taught to children pretty much the same way Earth children are potty trained. There's usually a family celebration when a child is able to use the Spell: that changes one's status from baby, within the confines of infancy, to childhood, which gives wider boundaries.

Children are expected to contribute to family welfare. At higher levels, this means learning to take one's position, and of course at lower levels, providing labor. Mostly (and there are sad exceptions) the labor is appropriate to the child: herding domestic animals, setting tables, dunking dirty dishes in the magic bucket (or sticking them through the cleaning frame), emptying the bucket into the garden. Weeding the truck garden, etc etc.

There is a remaining sense of women's work and men's work centering around hard labor for males and domestic labor for females, due mostly to physical limitations. But where those jobs cross over there is seldom any shame attached. the guilds have long since seen to it that males and females who do equal work are paid equally, which has redounded onto family views of labor.

Children have a great deal of freedom until ten or twelve, as a rule. At that time they are expected to have explored the various options for labor, and even to serve short-term apprenticeships. These are regarded as sensible: no one expects a child of ten to be definite about his or her future work.

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Page last modified on January 21, 2008, at 01:36 PM