Family is nothing to do with who is or isn’t related by blood to you. I have many non-blood related family. Family is who you choose, so best choose wisely. I write in my gratitude more or less daily. In recent weeks, one person and my gratitude for her, has featured more than anybody else.
And that person is my ex-husbands wife.
Let me tell you, I have nothing but love and respect for this woman. She’s lovely. She’s funny. She’s kind. She’s strong. And she’s like a dog with a bone when she has to be! Hand on heart, if I had to choose a step-Mum for my boys…I wouldn’t change a thing; it would be her every bloody time.
She has always been brilliantly impartial in not taking sides when me and my ex-husband have a falling out. To be fair, these days, it’s not often but sometimes, we just can’t help it. We just rub each other up the wrong way, and that’s pretty much why we got divorced! But she always takes a step back and lets us get on with it and I think that’s great…because then whatever anger I am feeling in that moment doesn’t impact on our relationship. I’m sure behind closed doors for them it might be a different matter but that’s okay.
Did I mention that she’s American? Texan to be specific. I don’t really know why but I take more of an interest in US politics than I ever take in ours and so during the US elections last year we had a great time, probably because she and I are on the same page politically, not that the outcome has any bearing on me personally but you know it’s hard not to be concerned when one of the strongest country’s in the world was being run by a spitting image puppet.
But more than anything, I can just rely on her help. Nothing fazes her, nothing is ever too much trouble and she has proved that time and time again.
Kids see things very much in black and white. It is or it isn’t. It’s okay or its not. And so, the fact that my boys love, trust and care for her, more than warms my heart.
Neens is another great step-parent. Her son has been in her life since he was around 2 years old, the same age that my boys have known their step-Mum. I’ve never known Neens to exclude him from family activities, holidays etc in the same way that I’ve never seen my boys’ step-Mum display behaviour that is unfair towards my boys versus her children. She has her own son plus a daughter that she shares with my ex. I actually dislike saying that she is the boys’ half-sister or that he is their stepbrother. They are growing up together and I would challenge anybody to view them as anything other than full siblings. And it should be noted that their sister is probably one of my most favourite human beings. I adore her! She’s so funny. She was born on my beloved Nan’s 95th birthday, which falls the day before mine. Actually, it’s ‘our’ birthday in a couple of weeks and now I’m thinking what I can get her for her 7th birthday. In an ideal world, she’d like my dog Dolly but nah, she’s not having her! No matter how much I love that kid.
So, why this post about my ‘family’? Well, sometimes, when your life changes, for whatever reasons, the people who care really show up for you. And for that I am truly grateful.