In October, we spent a week with my family at the beach. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season made me reflect on that week of physical closeness (15 people! One house!) but also time of quality bonding. I am reminded that my “instant family” choice of a year ago meant changes for my extended family–and I couldn’t have imagined how joyfully my parents and siblings would immediately embrace Ana and Yoseph as their own. My siblings and my parents treat them as if they’ve known them since birth. In turn, they have taught my nieces and nephew to do the same. I am grateful for this first year of memories they made with their cousins, aunts, uncles, and Mimi and Poppy. I am so, so blessed.
But there is still a learning curve. As I mentioned in a previous post, no one in my immediate family has experience divorce firsthand. No stepparents and stepsiblings. My nephew Job, age 5, has clearly been thinking it through quite a bit. Initially, it was very hard for him to understand the concept of a stepmom. “Yoseph has two moms? Hmmm. I want two moms!” As his mom, my sister, explained that even though that can be special to have two moms who love you so much, it would mean that he couldn’t see his mom every day, so he may just want to stick with the one mom. “No, I think it would be okay. I’ll take two.”
Most recently, at the end of his inaugural viewing of Cinderella, he turned to his mom and commented, “Huh. I thought she was gonna, like, throw the stepmother in lava.”
Stepmoms need a good PR person these days. I’m working on that.