I thought about this quite a bit, and the fictional family I would most like to belong to is Max’s family in Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are.
We only know of three members of Max’s family: Max, his mother, and his poor harried little dog. Max is definitely an exasperating handful from a parent’s point of view, but what an imagination that child has! As frustrating as he would be to have as a sibling, he would also provide a heckuva lot of entertainment, and a lot of fodder for my own imaginings. And who wouldn’t want to have a cute little pup to harbor and cuddle after crazy Max has driven him to distraction?
But what sealed the deal for me was Max’s mother. She who would put up with a hyper-active child with a hyper-active imagination, and who would deal with him by sending him to his room without dinner as punishment for his acting up, rather than yelling at him or scolding him or any sort of undue corporal punishment. She who, after getting her point across, would then relent a bit, and make sure that he had something to eat in his room after all – and even that it would still be hot? Yup, that’s the kind of Mom I would like to have. And the type of mom I had.