Blended Families are complicated. No doubt. And just when you think you have a handle on it, there is some new complexity that you must face.
All of our kids look dramatically different – as if they are not from the same family at all. I get that – I just don’t think about it that often. We were walking through the mall the other day, and I am feeling good about just keeping them all together and getting through the perfume section without anyone touching anything or running into anything breakable or creating a scene. When an older woman looks at all of us and says in the sweetest of voices “They are not all yours, are they?”
My first thought is – seriously who on God’s earth would bring 4 children into a store if they did not have to…..but I digress….
Instead, I looked at the woman and smiled gently and said “Yes, I am incredibly blessed…… they are all mine.” In that moment, I think she was mildly embarrassed from her choice of words and said – “But they all look so different”. No further explanation was needed we simply smiled and moved on……The kids were uninterested…..focused more on getting to the ice cream than the stranger talking to their mother.
Sometimes, I worry that what other people say – and the words they use – and the questions they ask – will somehow hurt the kids, confuse them about our family in their already confusing world. But I as I watched them walk ahead of me…..arm in arm, singing a silly song and laughing, I am reminded that family is defined more by a group of people who love and care for each other than what we look like or where we come from. Or by what other people think or say.
And that is a lesson I hope they keep with them for the rest of their very “blended lives”.