Blended Family Summer

I’m getting ahead of myself, I know. After all, last night was only night two of the Summer of Rugrat.

But so far, after night two, I’m happy to report that everything is going really, really well.

Tuesday night, the night of her arrival, my girls were off with their dad for the night, so it was just CBG, Rugrat and I, hanging out together. We took her out to dinner to the pizza joint that’s going to be catering our wedding reception. We had a delicious meal and then went down to the waterfront for ice cream for dessert. We chatted, we joked, we laughed, we were completely silly. It was a fun night, and I’m honestly looking forward to the three of us being able to do it again over the summer.

Last night, Wednesday, it was the five of us. My girls have been beyond excited to see Rugrat, and they were all over her from the moment they arrived home. They have a definite big-sister-worship thing going on. A couple of years ago I don’t think she really appreciated it, but now, she’s learned to drink in the love and admiration that my girls so readily shower upon her. When the three of them are together now, I see definite affection there, that has taken a few years and several visits to develop. But there’s no mistaking it when I hear them in another room chatting and giggling with genuine delight at being together.

So far I find myself enjoying Rugrat more than I ever have on her visits. Two or three years ago it was a bit of a struggle, particularly for me. I’ve always found it difficult to bond with other people’s children, and despite the fact that Rugrat was my not-yet-official “stepdaughter”, I found myself focusing on her shortcomings, rather than her awesomeness. I saw the areas where we were different, rather than the areas where we were the same. I felt frustrated that I didn’t feel comfortable parenting her, despite the fact that I felt she needed it.

For some reason, whether it’s us getting to know each other better, her maturing, or me finally opening my heart, but more and more I find myself seeing her better qualities and developing a genuine affection for her. After all, it was my initial suggestion that she come for an extended visit with us this summer. Our last two visits — both at Christmastime and last summer — went very well, and I felt encouraged by this.

It’s amazing at how having another kid in our house makes it feel so much more full of love.

I know that’s it’s not always going to be perfect. I’m fully anticipating challenges and struggles and less than wonderful parenting moments. But sitting here, right now, I’m feeling a lot more optimistic about things — particularly being her step mother — than I ever have. I may only be her stepmom (and a part time one at that) but for the first time I feel like we’re a part of one another.

And it feels better than I ever imagined.

One Response

  1. Wheeee!! That’s how I feel about my man-boy. GJ’s oldest son thinks of me as his mom a lot of the time. I do my best but it’s tough when you’re not the only one parenting a teen.

    Glad things are going well so far!

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