These two words define the impact the birth of my daughter Zelie, now 15 months, has had on the life of my neighbour Maria, a 75 year old widow.

Adapting to the new social context of the last decades, the classic idea of the family as an institution is being modified. The basic archetype par excellence in traditional societies of the family made up of of two parents (a father and a mother) with varios children and an extended family (of different generations) is being displaced. In industrialized societies there is an increasing number of single-parent families with no extended family close by, which is my case. Like many other young, single, parents, I depend on friends and neighbours for support instead of family. Leaving the “door open” to friends and neighbours allows for an intertwining of intimate space and allows new and different family frameworks to form which adapt directly to need and circumstance.