Yours mine and ours
Waiting for the other shoe to drop
A blended family
Most often question since Rick and I have been married;
(usually with a tilt of the head and a sympathetic look) "Hows the blending going?" I guess our society is used to Cinderella, her evil Step Mom (wait that would be me!!) and evil step sisters. (Elyse, Kyria, Nikka:: what have you done ;~))
I thought of this as i was in the kitchen the other night and noticed Joseph (15) and Caleb (13) sitting together on the couch sharing a computer screen.
Me: "I dont want to jinx anything but everybody always thinks this whole blending thing is going to be a problem, I wish they could see this moment"
Caleb: "You better knock on wood"
Joseph: (without being able to keep a straight face, and nudging Caleb):
"Dude get away from me"
Caleb: Tried to respond but laughed instead. A deep happy laugh I had never heard before.
Hearing that true happiness in Calebs voice made me want to go and find Rick and share with him. I even asked the boys to reenact the whole scene for Ricks benefit. They did playfully.
Luke and Caleb came home from a week at scout camp in June as best friends. Truly remarkable as they dont tend to have the same interests. I asked Caleb to please keep an eye on Luke as it was his first year and I just tend to baby Luke. Caleb really did. More then one person told me that Caleb referred to Luke as his 'bro' the entire week.
Our family has chosen not to use the word; 'Step", our kids have easily been able to refer to eachother as sister and brother. When there is an explanation necessary, we say 'bonus sister/brother' or bonus Mom or Dad.
And as Rick and I have tried to blend the family rules, the kids have been very patient. Here's the deal; Rod and I and Rick and Anna have all raised our kids rather traditionally and conservatively. Our definitions have not always been the same though. So there have been things that, for example my kids couldnt do, the Davies family could do, and visa versa.
The kids tend to benefit as we are sensitive to asking them to make too many additional sacrifices. Rick reminds me that Rod and I have successfully raised 4 children who love God and family above all else. i say if it was good enough for Anna Davies its OK with me. (She was and is a remarkable person, and so is Rick! Cant give her all the credit for these two great kids) So we tend to let some rules bend a bit.
The Dial Davies house has been a little crazier, a little dirtier. The Davies have learned if they want their laundry done more often then every couple weeks, they need to do it themselves. The Dial's have learned to slow down a bit
Caleb mentioned its hard to get bored at our house as there is always someone coming or going or something going on. This makes Emma's head spin sometimes as she is a bit of a homebody and doesn't like her schedule too full.
As the Davies have gotten settled; they have won the hearts of everyone around us. One of my bff's said to me the other day: I already love those two kids like they really were yours"
Caleb has been such a good example to my kids of hard work and getting his chores done in a timely manner. I actually felt the need to start paying Caleb for some 'above and beyond' chores. That kid will work and work.
Emma, well anyone who knows her knows she is pretty much the perfect child. Case in point: I told her how excited I was to have a young daughter I could buy new clothes for. Her response: "I dont really need new clothes, I have plenty. But thank you"
OH and all of us, but especially Caleb and Emma have benefitted from Rick working from home. He stays busy and in his office, but they know they can go in and see him whenever they want. This is a perk Rod always had and I think why he had such a special bond with the kids.
Here's our big problem, I will share our family secret - I may actually go crazy with this one... The two extra kids, going from 6 to 8 is a piece of cake. Especially since there were only two left at home. Now having 4 is easy! Plus Nikka is here and has been very helpful getting kids where they need to be and hanging with them while I work.
Its the dogs people! I already had 3, 2 too many!!! Adding a 4th dog, put me over the edge!!! Dobby Davies is a sweet dog and gets along well with others. Its not Dobby, its Dobby, Millie,Jack and Faith combined! Killing me. Havent tried it, but pretty sure there isnt enough Xanax on the planet to make 4 dogs OK. We ordered 3 bark collars, but only one has come. So whoever barks the most gets the shock collar. Dobby wins everyday. The good news is Dobby doesnt bark now with that collar on. The bad news is Emma is pretty sure the cruelty is more then she can handle.
Disclaimer: It is turned all the way down, and sometimes not even on. The whole Pavlov's dog thing...
Anyways Emma doesnt like it! I dont put it on, in order to keep my wonderful bonus Mom reputation, Rick does it. In fact I feel so bad for Emma that sometimes Ill take it off just to earn points.
It occurred to me the other night that this may lead Emma to therapy later in life and the therapist, in listening to this, may become convinced that she suppressed some real abuse by her evil bonus Mom, and that it had nothing to do with Dobby at all.
Because of this paranoia on my part; In the end, Emma and Dobby may win and Rick and I will get ear plugs!
So there you go, I share my long journal entry on blending with my blogger friends. Neither Rick nor I chose this life. Death stinks and causes lots of suffering. We both made the best of it alone. Together is much better though, it's so much better to have someone to share the burdens with. Someone to have your back. Someone to love your kids like you do. I'm seeing why we are taught in the bible: "It's not good for man (or woman) to be alone.