12 Weeks Ago: United

When we found out that the Little Lady was on her way to our family, I wondered endlessly about how the boys would react. Would they know we still love them? Would they feel replaced?

Would the “ours” baby cause strife among the blended siblings and us?

How would it go?

What would happen?

Well, we are only (already?) 12 weeks into this chapter, and it’s going well. I assumed that the 14 year old would be stand off-ish. Yet, he warmed up to the Little Lady immediately, and has hovered ever since. The little boys cannot even breathe on her without me hearing about it.

The 7 year old is about as indifferent now as he was when I was pregnant. He just flat doesn’t say that much about her. He holds her occasionally. He isn’t hostile about her being here, but past the first day or two of excitement, it seems like she can either stay or go, but it doesn’t matter to him one way or the other. (No, I’m really not being extreme, I think we could rehome the baby, and he would just be like “okay, can I go play?” Yes, this is odd to me.)

The 5 year old thinks she’s pretty cool. He has definitely tried to pick up some baby habits, because losing the baby status is hard. Yet, he loves to hold her and play with her and run to her when she whimpers. He talks to her and tells people about her quite proudly.

3 different reactions from 3 vastly different boys, all united by one sister. I love that she is the combination of all of us, and that in her own way, she drew us all closer together. She is the magical little link between her daddy and I, and between each of the brothers. It’s really cool if you ask me.

(I’m sure that when she is toddling around, getting into their things, and all I’m hearing is “MOOOOOM SHE’S TOUCHING MY STUFF” I’ll probably rethink how blissful and beautiful this seems. It’s midnight though, I’m delirious, and all feels right in my world.)

 

Stepson – The not bad, “bad word.”

I hate calling my stepson my stepson. There are so many negative connotations to that word. Anything step is bad, in so many peoples eyes. I say stepson, and people immediately want to know how much trouble him and I have.

 

We don’t usually. And the trouble we do have is resolved pretty easily.

 

I am very proud of him, very thankful for him in my life, and blessed beyond measure to be watching him grow. He is going to be an amazing man in the not-too-distant future. He is already a fantastic young man.

 

I really like to just stick with telling people that we are us & 5 kids. But something always causes the blended-thing to come up. Usually, it happens when we say something about having two 7 year olds, that aren’t twins, are a month apart and we get that look like “how the…” oh, we’re blended!

 

But blended-son just sounds dumb. I guess that’s better than feeling like I’m calling him a bad, rotten name if I speak about him. (I have two stepsons, but only get daily, regular interactions with the 14 year old, so I’m referring to him in this post.)

 

A while back, one of the younger boys was asking what it meant to be a stepfamily. Boy did the 14 year old make me cry that day.

 

His answer, “A stepparent is a stepparent because they are only one step away from being your real parent.”

 

(Somebody should tell that kid NOT to say stuff like this when I am driving, sheesh!)

 

Every time I’m forced to admit that he’s my stepson, and since I don’t have a better word for it, I just remind myself of his words. He’s just one step away from being my son.

 

And I have to add that, thanks to his mom being so supportive, that step isn’t a big one. It’s not an immeasurable gap, or something that can’t be bridged. I know how hard it can be to share our kids, and she allows me to be important to him and allows him to be important to me. I’m not trying to be his mom, that’s not what this is about. He has a mom, a good one at that!