My daughter Kelly asked, “What were you thinking?” She was looking over the shoulders of her sons…our grandsons Brendan and Riley…as they were looking at my wedding album and the photo of our new “blended” family. I replied, “Obviously, we weren’t.” The ages of our children in that photo, were 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. She asked a very good question. I would propose the same question to any two people who are about to blend families, even if their numbers are fewer than ours and the ages are different.
What are you thinking?
- Are the two of you thinking about each other and the love you’re sharing with one another?
- Are you thinking about how or whether the children will get along with each other? You may already know, or think you do.
- What do your children really think about your future spouse; their future step parent? Actions speak louder than…
- And Vice Versa? Ditto on the actions…
- Where will they live most of the time? When & how will they go back and forth?
- Are your food choices and cooking habits the same as or different from those that they’re used to?
- Do you discipline differently from each other, from the former spouses?
- Will the new step siblings share bedroom(s)?
When you read (above) the ages of our children on our wedding day, you might have said “WOW!” That was a plate full. Then we moved the plate. Three days after that beautiful beach wedding, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Virginia, we moved to Denver, Colorado. We moved our newly blended family to a city, more than 1700 miles away, and into a house that only their parents had seen. New house, new city, new schools, new friends, new job assignment for me (with a lot more travel) and a new job for the new Mrs. This is not an unusual scenario in today’s America.
Here’s another question to ponder: What comes after the wedding? The honeymoon? Guess again. How about ‘the marriage.’
I recommend to those new or soon-to-be step-parents that you think about the questions I’ve proposed, and the countless others I haven’t thought of, and that someone is you know we love to ask you, if they only dared. We hope that you will talk with each other about those questions and that you’ll talk with your children about those questions.
And finally, that you will listen to what your children say. You shouldn’t have to learn it all the hard way. That’s why I say, ‘if you get to know us, we should give you hope.’ By the Grace of God and a lot of hard work, we can say that we love our life, now. We’re a fully functional family, now. We could have gotten to this point sooner if we had someone ask us those same questions.