Saturday, June 1, 2013

Just Add Water and Stir?

His and hers.



Everything I had became his and everything his, became mine. I had so hoped my children would love him and that his would love me. Our littles were young, surely we could blend these two small families How hard could this be?

My baby, only 5 months old, virtually started his life with 3 sisters and 1 brother. He knew no other life. Nick called Pat Daddy from the time he could form word with his tiny rosebud lips. He is his dad in every sense of the word. Nick doesn't have step sisters. He just has sisters. And now, nieces and nephews. There are no steps in his life. As it should be.

My oldest at 6 years old had an established relationship with his father and I knew I was in for a struggle to acclimate him from an only child into a family of 5 children. I know now I was grossly unprepared. What I could have done differently I don't know but he still has a shaky relationship with his stepfather and a only a slightly more stable relationship with 2 of his step sisters. As an adult now, it's his job to foster these relationships and make them stronger. Pat's oldest daughter and Chris have no relationship and barely know each other.

In my opinion, I was lucky that Pat's girls didn't have a close relationship with their mother. It allowed me to nurture a mother-like relationship with them that provided my heart an opportunity to create love for them much like the love for my own boys. I tried to equally love his girls. Each of them and I have had our ups and downs. Tears and smiles. But only 2 of them will allow me to continue to love them and return that love unconditionally. With each of them at almost the age I was when I met their father we are extremely close and share many mother/daughter moments. They understand that  I never intended to come into their life and take any one's place. I wasn't an equal to any of them in Pat's heart. I didn't try to force my love for them, it happened naturally. I had hoped the mutual feeling would happen naturally as well. I've, in no uncertain terms, been informed that it hasn't with his oldest. I won't lie to myself or anyone else and say it hasn't hurt.  But what hurts the most? Pat gets hurt in the crossfire.

A few days ago, Pat received an invitation to his oldest daughters out of state wedding planned for September. At first, he wouldn't open it. I opened it for him and suggest that he go even though I clearly wasn't invited. I appealed to the parent in him but he's hurt or angry or, I don't even know but he didn't want to talk about it.

I think we A) Over estimated our ability to create a blended family. or B) Need to take Nicks approach and accept what is.

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