Updated: Dec 6, 2020
You know the typical narrative where you have a blended family and the step parent and biological parent have a flamboyant disdain for each other that they pretend doesn’t exist but substantiate by making passive aggressive quips to those within ear shot?
That’s not my narrative. And my gosh do I know how lucky I am.
But, if I really pause and think about it, it’s not luck at all. This isn’t something that was left to the flip of a coin, the roll of dice, or the draw of a card. We have worked (and worked HARD) to keep our minds and hearts open, to collaborate together, to communicate, and to make the best decisions we can for our son.
Now, it hasn’t always been rainbows and unicorns. We have had growing pains and certainly some speed bumps along the way but we have all adjusted and found a new normal with each growing experience we have encountered. That’s not to say we always agree; we are human, after all. But I can’t remember the last time any of us were actually passionately upset with the other.
My bonus son’s mother is kind. And she is gracious. And she is a wonderful mother. Having her share her son with me is a gift that I’ve come to cherish even more now that Bitty is here. Understanding what it must be like to send your baby off to another home is an idea that makes my heart skip a beat. But she has always done it with a grace and a patience I am not sure I could replicate if the roles were reversed.
When we sit at practices or games, conversation flows easily but silence does too. I like that we do not always have to fill the space. I think that speaks volumes.
On the occasions where events bring us into each other’s homes, it feels easy and right. I adore her daughter and I know Landry is special to her too, as they both mean the world to our son.
Do you want to know one of my favorite things about the great photographs I have from my daughter’s first birthday party? It’s that my son’s mother was the one behind the camera. My husband and I were both in the thick of the event-greeting, cutting cake, opening gifts-so what does she do? She picked up the camera and just started firing away. Her thoughtfulness in doing this and having her be a part of our crazy brood meant so much to me that it now makes these already priceless photos that much more meaningful to me. And this is just one instance, in over a decade of child rearing together.
It is such common ground for the multiple household scenario to be painted as one where there are separate teams and everyone has to pick a side. I just want to share that it can be done. You can all get along, for the better of your kids. You can enjoy each other. You can have things in common. You can even want good things for each other and cheer each other on. You can choose to be on the same side. But you must choose. You must make your own luck.
Because when you work as a team, your kids flourish. They feel safe and secure and they know they have double the cheerleaders and shoulders as they navigate life’s playing field.
And that makes us all truly lucky.