My husband and I dated for a few years before we got married, living in separate households and reveling in the excitement of coming together every weekend. We’d both been married before, and were now living as divorced single parents. I longed for the time when we could finally blend our households and things could become much simpler. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening.
1000 paper cranes
My 17-year-old stepson, Frizz, is intent on folding 1,000 paper cranes. This means there are paper cranes of all sizes showing up all around the house, increasing in numbers day by day. The first day was cute. He carefully placed a large crane on our dinner table, followed by cranes decreasing in size - like... Continue Reading →
One more day
DQ leaves tomorrow for her dad's. I've distanced myself from this reality, treating it like one long vacation. And for the most part, I've been blissful in my little world of denial. She's been busy packing up her room, taking over the washer machine and boxing up anything she thinks will fit into my car... Continue Reading →
The messy blending of a family
(This story will publish in the Press Democrat on June 1, 2012) A friend and I were recently in a classroom at the Santa Rosa Junior College, sharing stories of our separate blended families with Sociology students as they studied remarriage and stepfamilies. We came there with a stepmother’s point of view, and told these... Continue Reading →
We were watching American Idol and Coldplay was on singing "Every teardrop is a waterfall". My 16-year old stepson, who is normally holed up in his room, has lately been making it a habit to hang out with us in the evening. My 14-year old daughter was in the kitchen struggling with a science project... Continue Reading →
The dreaded Family Meeting
Mr. W, my fiancé, and I have been stumbling a little in our blended family adventure. I wouldn’t say it’s been awful – we’ve been more successful than not. But there are little things that have served as speed bumps while combining households into one. And when we went to counseling to learn how to... Continue Reading →
If I were queen
I was trying to describe my stepson to my counselor the other day in a way he could understand my frustration. "Everything he does is an act of protest," I told him, describing how Frizz hadn't cut his hair in 9 months, played music at ear-splitting levels, preferred his falling-apart shoes over anything new his father bought him, and locked himself in his room rather than joining in with the family. But the counselor wasn't understanding. Each level of defiance I shared was met with a murmur of approval, as if he were impressed with how Frizz chose to fight us.
The wicked stepmother, part 2
(read part one HERE) I never thought it was possible to be utterly petrified of a teenager. Not me. I’m the one who has volunteered for years at a summer camp run completely by teens, and a host for our annual pancake breakfast at my kitchen table. I think the teenage years are when a... Continue Reading →
The wicked stepmother, part 1
Frizz, my (future) stepson, milled around the kitchen putting his lunch together for the school day. We were both moving around each other, doing our best not to disturb the other in the dance we did every morning. He moved like I wasn’t even there. I just tried to stay out of his way. Neither... Continue Reading →