Monday, October 20, 2008

Colliding In The Blender

I would love to say that our “blended” family has been a do over of the Brady Bunch where the highest point of drama would be the pitiful sing song “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.” But it is not. Thankfully it is our own unique colliding of families and homes. One of the obstacles that came out of this would be between Traveler and me.

Will and I read books on blended families, went to counseling before marrying, made sure we found a house with enough rooms that each child would have their space. We provided time for one on one time with the kids. Worked had trying to ease the transition. We, of course, still have encountered issues that did not respond like the books said and we have had to muddle through on something better – Faith.

Saturday evening was when Traveler came over for dinner. I cannot say that my day was not laced with much anticipation and anxiety.

See, when Will and I married, it was really strange for Traveler to have new people in the home. She was 16, busy, ready for all the activities that come with driving and working toward leaving for college . . . not sharing a bathroom with two more boys, nor probably sharing her dad’s affection.

After the wedding we moved straight into the intolerance stage which was demonstrated by ignoring me. I just wanted to be accepted treated nicely. I was very frustrated and at times angry. I finally gave in and let it play out, I stopped trying to force hellos, how are you’s and gave her space. When she left for college it changed more to indifference, kinda like that of passing someone you do not really know, don’t necessarily want to but do give the hellos, goodbyes and goodnights. Now we fluctuate between polite indifference and friendliness. Thus the anxiousness about visits, will she be open to chatting or will I need to give plenty of space?

So what was Saturday? It was mix . . .it did start off with the indifference, the one word answers with the smile that said “are we done now, can I finish checking my email?” Dinner went well though. She opened up but even more so when MIL stopped by. Then it moved into real, pleasant conversation.

Next stage?

I look forward to the day when conversation flows easily. When there is no undercurrent of tension. When fun chit chat can happen without the prompting of a third party. When we can be friends, no forced niceties, just enjoy the person each of us are, you know, friends. So I will continue to pray, pray for Traveler and pray for myself. Pray for guidance and wisdom for each encounter ~ and jump for joy when that day comes!

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed."

Habakkuk 2:3


Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I have to say...the stepmom thing aside, teenage girls can just be something. My own sweet Lorelai can turn on us in a minute and we don't know what we did....then just as quickly, she morphs back into her sweet self. It's the darndest thing I've ever seen. Have you tried taking her out for lunch and shopping...just the two of you? Goodness knows, a little bribary has worked wonders with us over the years.

Teri said...

We have a blended family. Generally okay, but there are those moments. Especially when throwing the teenage thing into the mix.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll be back!

Weeksie50 said...

I am sending some prayers your way. I am not in a blended family.. so I don't have any advice to give.. I wish I could help..

Jan said...

I am so very sorry that you are dealing with this. It has got to be so wearing on you. Can't we all just get along comes to my mind. It is tough though. I hope all goes well and I will certainly be thinking about you. Hang in there okay.