The Plural S

Having gone through a divorce, and then a remarriage and a blending of families, I often wonder what kind of baggage my kids are going to have.

I stress about the idea that they will have abandonment issues, commitment issues, anxiety issues, connection problems – all stuff that I see bits and pieces of now.  I try to remind myself that everyone has issues – whether you are from a “broken home” or not  (by the way, “us blended families” hate the term “broken home”). The issues my kids will have may be different, but everyone will have issues – right?

So I try to focus on all the pluses my kids have because they are part of a blended family. I sometimes like to remind them of these things: you guys get great vacations, you have two rooms so you have lots of space to put your stuff, you get to have two holiday celebrations, and the best part, you get to have these awesome step siblings and step parents (not to mention step grandparents and step extended families).

The kids usually agree with me, but I always feel like I’m just sort of pushing those pluses on them when they are feeling down about having forgotten something at their other parents, or resenting the fact that they have to miss an event at our house because they are with their other parent. I sometimes wonder if they do actually see all these pluses.

Especially the idea of being blessed to have step parents.

The other day, Zach was playing goalie at his soccer game. He had never played goalie before and he was AWESOME! (He needs to play this position – even the coach came up to me and told me this).

Anyhow, an ongoing joke in our home is when one of my kids does something well, I take credit for it. I mean c’mon, I gave them life! I taught them everything they know!

So, as we left the game, I started bragging about what a great job I had done teaching Zach how to be a great goalie.  He laughed, then responded:

“Mom. If it weren’t for my Dads, I would be scared of the ball.”

I put aside the fact that I think this was not a compliment to me  (I so don’t yell things like “be careful sweetie – that ball almost hurt you”).

And I focused on the plural “s” he added to “Dad”.

Now, to some who are sensitive and insecure, they might feel that adding the “s” to Dad was a slight to Zach’s Dad. But, if you knew Zach, you’d know that it’s not. And if you knew Zach’s Dad, you’d know that he wouldn’t take it like that (he loves Rob).

It’s the acceptance of the fact that he does have a Dad and Stepdad who have put in many hours of time into helping him play soccer. Two men that have taught him things – different things. Two men that he is grateful to as he recognizes the role they both play in his life.

I had a smile on my face the whole drive home. I love that Zach feels so loved by his “Dads”. I love that he recognized – without my prodding – that a divorce plus, was gaining Rob.

(I’m not so excited that he thinks if left up to me, he would have been fearful of a soccer ball though!!)


Comments

The Plural S — 5 Comments

  1. I think that’s beautiful. I wish I had two dads! In our situation it wasn’t to be, but I don’t think you’re scarring them for life! Childhood has its pitfalls for everyone. In our case, you’re right – we got great vacations and our own rooms and good clothes and good food and most of all – love!

  2. Okay. This one really hit me, Leah. I’m typing through tears here. I just LOVE the plural S your son used so naturally. My parents were divorced and my dad remarried. My “step” mom is vital to my happiness. I’m closer to her than my actual mom, truth be told. I just can’t imagine my life—my teen years when I met her to this very day—without her. I honestly can’t. –Lisa

  3. I LOVE this post. I worry about so many of the same things. We haven’t crossed into the plural dads yet, but my children have had a stepmother almost from the get go. However, with their dad and stepmother living so far away, they don’t have much influence. I do try to let them know when they succeed at something their father is good at… I’d hope that they would feel the same way about anyone I bring into their lives, because that man will, for all intents a purposes, be more of a father figure than their dad because they see him so little, but I worry that their dad will see it as yet another threat to his status. *sigh*

  4. 🙂

    I have two dads, too.

    When I got married, both my dads gave me away.

    (There was no way I could have just picked one of them!)

    In a true blended family – that is one of the greatest pluses – you get more people to love you and show you new, interesting things. People who have different strengths that you can learn from. People with different interests and abilities – all which help you become even awesomer than you already are!

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