Friday, April 22, 2011

Chosen Family?

When I was a kid, I pretty much called every mother I knew "Mom." As a mother, I've referred to close friends as "Aunt _____" and "Uncle _____" to my kids. The trouble I had with this, however, is the way that people tend to float into our lives and then float back out again. I know it is the way of the world, but it isn't really the way of relatives. I have felt bad when someone got very close to us and spent a LOT of time with us... and then disappeared.

My Wordless Wednesday post this week showed a close friend of ours. In fact, he is my husband's best friend in addition to being a close friend of my own. We both met him (and each other) through work. Now that he lives a few towns away (and doesn't work with us anymore), we don't see him often. To save on gas, we fetch him and keep him for days at a time for longer visits. (Yes, in our tiny one bedroom apartment where the bedroom belongs to my daughter that only lives here part time.)

2007 ~ B2007 ~ Uncle?
Big kids can play in boxes, too!

This was the case this past weekend. We kept our friend for 6 days. He is always helpful when he is around and he is very good with kids (he has 2 of his own). He even took Sasha for a walk so Elmo and I could have a little alone time. We've never sent Sasha out with another person like that! So obviously, we trust him. I found myself wanting to refer to him as "Uncle _______," but stopping myself. It seems like it would be a curse on the relationship. There is a chance he will move far away. We plan to live on the road (though return to visit often). I just... I'm not sure how I want to handle this with our daughter.

Does your family have any chosen relatives? Have you had trouble result from such situations? Do you ever find yourself pushing people away for fear that they'll get too close? I could really use some input here!
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