Family or Friend?

There is nothing better than dinner with friends/family. It’s hard to know what to call M and B.  M is a distant cousin to my husband. But to say they are just cousins doesn’t pay the relationship justice.

B is my teaching partner (yes we both teach first grade and yes we both have the same last name, in the same small school), and one of my best, closest friends. But to just say we are friends doesn’t pay our relationship justice either.

B was my children’s favorite teacher (4th grade then). She opened their eyes and hearts to such books as Harry Potter, The Man Who Loved Clowns, and Hatchet.  She helped nurture a love of reading they hadn’t freely grasped before then. It was around this our friendship was created, but soon grew to be so much more.  

M is one of my kids’ favorite fun relatives. M and B own farmland that has a small lake, and my kids claim it as their own (well they do have the same last name they like to say). We have spent countless summers there camping, fishing, playing and relaxing; thanks to M and B’s willingness to share. We often jokingly ask if they’d like to join us for a cookout at “our” lake.

Last night we treated them to grilled steaks and “crockpot” cake, and they treated us to “crockpot” potatoes (yummy) and hours of conversation, laughter, teasing, and fun. The teenage daughter lingered at the table to join in the tales. The college son came home because he knew M and B were coming to dinner. Even when the husband rushed out at the blaring of his pager (another grass fire), we continued on.  The son watched basketball with M, and B and I pondered the remaining days of school and how quickly it will go.   

So what do you call these friends that are family and family that are friends? How do you name this type of relationship or connection?  What do you say to people when they ask? I don’t know what they would say, but we say we are very, very blessed.


6 responses to this post.

  1. This post is a wonderful tribute to two people you clearly love. Who needs labels, right?


  2. Posted by the other ruth on March 19, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    I love when friends become as close as family and when family members can become treasured friends. The comfortable style you used to write about this relationship reveals the comfort found in it.


  3. I love the line about the teenage daughter lingering at the table to hear the tales. The stories must be pretty good if a teen sticks around! I’m not sure how to name your relationship either but it certainly sounds like a rare gift.


  4. Posted by Christy on March 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm

    To capture a relationship this dear, you {apparently} can only do it justice by slicing about it! A beautiful description of {clearly} beautiful people!


  5. Isn’t it lovely to have this dilemma? We live far from our blood relatives, thus I have several friends that I consider family. I, too, feel blessed by these relationships. Nice piece.


  6. I think you’re right, they’re blessings. What a loving description, all the right ingredients-good food, friends & stories. It seems that the generosity among all of you makes a very good combination.


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