Forty has brought with it, a 16 year old step-son, an almost 16 year old daughter and an almost 14 year old son who doesn’t know if he wants to be 5 or 35. Many folks think blended families are hard, but this one, just fits. Even though they are close in age, they are all so very different that there is rarely any competition. We share more laughter, jabs at one another and conversations that would turn some sailors red-cheeked. But, we are real.
When we blended this family in 2013, one thing my husband and I agreed upon was that we wanted our kids to be real with us. We wanted them to be the same person when they are with us on a lazy Sunday afternoon as they are when they are with their friends on Friday night. While, I admit that there are times we don’t see eye to eye, I can almost guarantee you that I know where my kids are, what they are doing, saying and even sometimes feeling. There are very few secrets. We talk about things before they happen. Random conversations on sex, racial divide, animals and why Donald Duck only wears a shirt may spontaneously erupt at our dinner table. This is one thing about forty I LOVE. These priceless moments of family together and raw emotions will keep me happy long into my elder years when I simply no longer know where I am in the current day, but will always remember these days of being forty and loving the family God gave me. The family that is full of second-chances, grace and forgiveness.
It used to bother me when I was first divorced, that now my children had a mom and a sometimes dad. I soon realized we were more “typical” that our society likes to admit. So once I remarried and these two small families became one, I realized again that most of the families we knew were “hers”, “his” and “sometimes ours” type families. It made leading a blended family far less scary for my husband and I once we realized we were not an anomaly. We went about our business building our family rules, just as a traditional family would do. And, you know, it worked! And, it still works today.
I am not saying that we have not had hard times, please know that there have been days filled with fear, anger and tears. Again, just like a typical family. We just got the second chance to create it in a very intentional, untimely, new fashion.