Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What is Family? {SOL 1-19-16}

This past weekend,  I was talking to my mother on the phone, telling her that our time with our exchange student, Hannah, is half over.

"I wasn't sure I could do it," I said. "Having someone in my house for an entire year who was not family.  It's a good thing she became like family so quickly."

My mom laughed and said, "Well...you know, you always have had a wide definition of 'family.' You don't have a problem taking people in and making them family."

I laughed back, agreed and then we moved on to the next topic of conversation.

Later that afternoon, I was reflecting on what my mom had said.  While I had passed over it quickly while we were talking, there really was a lot of truth to what she said.

We have had three exchange students over the past two years.  Two of the three became like daughters to me.  I don't even want to think about what it will be like to send Hannah back to Germany in June.  I'll probably cry for days.

My children's friends become like family.  I have always felt that it was important to get to know who they were hanging out with.  My mom did the same thing when I was in high school (so much so that some of them even called her 'mom'). My kids friends will spend dinners with us, ask for advice, and go out of their way to say hello when they see me out and about.

Some of my dear friends have become like family.  I would walk to the end of the earth for them and I know they would do the same.

So then, I ask:  What is family?

To me, family is:
People you love and who love you
Who support you and you support them
Who are there for you in both good times and bad
Who can tell you what you need to hear,
    {even when you don't want to hear it}
Who listen
Who will be your advocate when you need one
And so much more....

So I guess my mom is right...I do have a wide definition of family.

I wouldn't have it any other way.



12 comments:

  1. I love that you view the human race as your family. It's hard not to love a person who has worked hard to be that person. It takes courage and deserves support.I'm so glad you've had this time with your exchange students. I think it's also great for your kids and for them to see how families operate outside their own comfort zone.

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  2. I think it is great to have a broad definition of family. In the last place I lived I had a group of friends who called themselves "framily" a lovely blend of friends and family. We all need all the family we can get!

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  3. I think it is great to have a broad definition of family. In the last place I lived I had a group of friends who called themselves "framily" a lovely blend of friends and family. We all need all the family we can get!

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  4. I have tears in my eyes reading this post. I love that you have such a wide definition of FAMILY. I think it's because you have such a huge heart!!!! So much love to share!

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  5. There is much to gain by broadening the definition of family, and it seems you know that, Jennifer. I've loved hearing about your "new" family members when you share about them.

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  6. You've made me think about who my family is. I'm an only child and always thought my family so small but when I count my close friends I really do have a big family.

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  7. You've made me think about who my family is. I'm an only child and always thought my family so small but when I count my close friends I really do have a big family.

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  8. I think it's amazing how you open your home to these students. I love that they become your family.

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  9. Sometimes those who are not blood related are more like family than those who have the same blood. I like your definition of family.

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  10. A wide definition of family - what a wise an open hearted way to live!

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  11. A wide definition of family - what a wise an open hearted way to live!

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  12. What an endearing compliment from your mother. Although I have never met your mom, I have a feeling you learned much from her.

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