Any person will tell you that there are many different types of family. Even within the actual family, there are different types of family – your nuclear family, your extended family. Then, there are your friends who become family – the family that you choose, as they are often referred to. And then, there is your non-family family. I love this type of family and it always makes me happy (and yes, friends could – and a lot of times are – placed in this category). These are the people who are as good as family. The people who you know will always be there for you, no matter what – even if they aren’t really your family.
These are the guys who will treat you just like your brothers treat you – teasing you and mercilessly making fun of you just to show that they care for you. The girls who you know you can talk to about embarrassing things and will not judge you for it, but will make fun of you for it if you need to be grounded. The adults who are just like second parents to you – they feed you, clothe you, give you someplace to stay. The people who are not really family so you can distance yourself if necessary, but who are always there when you need a boost.
I love spending time with my non-family family. I can go and hang out with them and not feel guilty that I may not have seen them for a while. I can count on them to make me smile if I need to smile, but if I need someone to be there for me, I know I can count on them for that too. It’s the people who make your “real” family more bearable at times. The ones who will sympathize with you and understand what you’re going through, but are far enough removed that they can give somewhat objectionable advice if needed. They’re the people who are going to go through hell with you, even though they don’t have to. And they are also the people who are going to celebrate life’s greatest successes with you.
Sometimes, your non-family family becomes even more important than your real family. Sometimes, they are the ones who you go to with problems. The ones who you know you can talk to without them ratting you out immediately. They are the ones who are at enough of a distance that their judgment doesn’t hit you quite as hard as the rest of your family. They are the people who you can count on to tell you the truth, while also holding back the worst of it because they know that you can cut them out easier than a real family member. They are the people who hold you together when your family is tearing you apart.
Thank you to everyone who is a part of my non-family family…those of you who know it and those of you who may not 🙂
Do you have non-family family? Who is your most important non-family family member?