When I was a kid I had family and then I had friends, they were different. But as I've gotten older those lines have gotten fuzzy. The need for a top down parent relationship vs a peer relationship that causes change in me has become stronger. I've been very lucky in my life to have many friends who have become family as I've moved my location and done different things.
My husband met his best friend in the third grade on the first day of school. That was also the day he met his cousin. They have been best friends for 20 years. They are what we call cousin friends. He is lucky enough to have a best friend that inspires and challenges him to be the best version of him he can be. Some of us aren't as lucky to have real family who are also our very best friends.
I have a great lady in my life and she once told me friends are simply the family you choose! Well wise lady you are correct! I have many friends in my life who I call family including an amazing family who I call mom and dad and my son has as aunties and grandparents.
It's not that my real family are bad or awful but as I've grown and my life has changed different people fill that family role. Different people have become all the different roles I need in my life. And for that I'm so thankful that friends and family are same same and only a little different.