Like most people, I had a dream, a vision of what my life would be like when I was all grown up. When my first two babies were born, I imagined and worked towards a vision of what I thought a family should be. Then, due to my immaturity, insecurities, and ignorance, those visions, those expectations, those dreams, never came to pass.
My fantasy of what a family should look like and be like was one very similar to a sitcom called Full House, or The Brady Bunch. Where families sit around the dinner table and actually talk to one another. A family where overcoming hardships took thirty-minutes and then on to the next adventure.
When I divorced my children’s dad I still held a deep dream of having a complete and happy family. I thought that if I met the right guy, who had the right family, they would accept us and we would be the family that I have always wanted since I was a little girl.
This blog was born out of the dysfunction of my child hood. It gives me solace, truth, humor and a chance to be heard in this noisy, messy world.
I was a single mom for about three years when I met Dan, Before I met him I had dated a few guys- even with all their good qualities, they just didn’t seem to fit the family life I was aiming for. Then Dan came into my life. Funny, cute, full of life, and he even made Kevin smile.
As with all relationships, we had our tests, our moments of fire. We had a lot to learn about ourselves, relationships and overcoming obstacles. Dan also was just divorced, luckily no children were involved.
In our time in the fire, I began to realize a truth that I was desperately trying to avoid, to stuff it in the Turkey, bake it, and eat it, so that I wouldn’t have face it everyday. The truth that blending a family is not easy, wait… blending a family is not possible, it is down right exploding.
When I married Dan I thought I was blending my family with his. I thought that every Holiday meant we could sit around the fireplace and talk, laugh and share. Instead, when I married Dan, I received words like, “Being married to Dan does not mean you or your kids are family.” Yeah, that was said to me. In response to a rumor that my son was being talked about in a manner that was unpleasant. When it comes to my boy, I tend to be a little aggressive, a little passionate, a little over protective, As I should be, because in my last post when I wrote about him, you can see why.
Kevin is living with some strangers right now. He’s living with one of his friends from his Marching Band at school. Apparently he wasn’t getting along with his dad, and since living with us is not an option, since I won’t let him drive his car with out a license, he has decided to live with a family that is able to meet his needs.
Last week I met this family. I walked into their beautiful home and had one of the hardest conversations of my life.
I had to sit in this comfy sofa, with a house full of memorable pictures and smells of food being cooked. I looked this woman in her eyes, and said, “I am so thankful that you have opened your home to my boy… I would much prefer him living with me, but it just doesn’t seem possible. His grades are up, he’s not skipping class, he actually seems happy.” Then I cried.
She handed me a Kleenex, and asked what was going on that Kevin would feel safer and happier in her home rather than the ones he had.
My response was that I only wanted what was best for my son. If this arrangement was working then I am all for it. You see, I want Kevin to be happy, successful and to experience the best high school years he has.
I had to do something very hard you guys. I had to leave him there, and let him live there.
I realized that my fantasies, my dreams of what family is is what needed to be let go. I have realized the last few years my mistake has been trying to form this sense of family that I fantasized about, rather than just loving the people around me so that family could be created.
And isn’t this the truth for most of us… Maybe? We don’t realize that family is created when we let go of our expectations, our fantasies, our needs and we just love the people around us, just the way they are.
What I miss with Kevin can never be again. It hurts. I don’t have the answers either. I can’t tell you that divorce is wrong, or re-marrying is wrong, or having children too soon is a mistake. I just don’t know. All I know is that tonight, Kevin is safe, he is loved, and even though he isn’t here with me physically, my heart is with him.
There are good people in this world. People who take in other people’s children and love them. In the end, that is all that matters.