“Instill great values in your children today and your grandchildren will prosper tomorrow”
The family unit has changed over the years. I still remember the first person I met who had divorced parents. Although we were nomadic military brats...we still had 2 sets of "grands", aunts, uncles and cousins. There was no confusion over who belonged to who...and in my relatively small family, the only time we had to think about it, was when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother remarried. Even then both men were from the same family so the relatives had always been around. Kaiya told me recently that she loved to come to my house as a child because it was so "normal". It made me giggle because we don't think of ourselves as normal...we often feel like a life size portrait of a Jerry Springer Show. The reality...my parents gave me a very special gift in our home...security, love and a sense of knowing who you are....where you belong. Thanks Mom and Dad!
Fast forward 30-40 years and boy has our society changed. As children have done for centuries...they are adapting. The norm now is 1 out of every 2 marriages ends in divorce...higher for those who have had more than one marriage and even higher for couples with no children (for the life of me that one makes NO SENSE!)
My family is a walking poster board for blended families. Last night I had an email from Cassie and she had a picture of her with her cousin Carrie. It made me think about the picture Nick had sent me earlier of his fathers children...his brother and sister Easton and Ashton. ...I have ALWAYS wanted my children to a part of a big family...maybe a little unconventional in the way it turned out...but it works for us.
My husband and I started married life with 6 teenage and preteen children. It was so hard to balance the needs of all the children and be fair to everyone. It was hard for me to know whether my opinions were based on fact and logic or my feelings. It was hard to decide which things were important enough to make an issue of. When it came to child raising we had few areas of agreement and a few areas of disagreement. We have made so many mistakes. However life is good.
Doesn't mean its not hard...its real hard...I have a hole in my tongue from biting back the words that I know will be hurtful when I think an "EX" is an idiot...I am not always proud of my actions or my thoughts...but I hope the end result is that my children, especially my girls, will see that you can be strong and still be kind. As I tell them often, do not mistake kindness for weakness.
We have a strong family that uses the word "step" only if it is really needed to clarify. Like why my daughter has two fathers attending an event. Why the kids call us Babs and Hondo.
I have come to realize that every person that is a part of their life brings something special to the table....something extra for them to learn...a set of memories that belong to them. For that I am truly thankful.
It may never be easy but it will always be worth it.