This summer has been level two achievement for step-mom-ness. We are not the custodial guardians of our children, which means that during the school year, according to the State of Texas, we are permitted to have them on Thursday nights, and every other weekend. Usually that adds up to about ten days a month. Does it sound like enough? Nope, it never is for either the kids or for us, but we also understand that jockeying them back and forth between two houses is disruptive to a schedule. We roll with it, and make the best of the time we have with them.
The State also allows non-custodial parents to have 50% of summer vacation (thirty days) and alternating holiday’s. We’re also entitled to have them for spring break, and we’re blessed to have such a wonderful, cooperative and loving relationship with their Mom Stephanie and their Step-Daddy Josh. We’re aligned; I guess that’s the best way to say it, and we work together (us four parents) on almost everything, including standardizing rules and expectations at both homes. My biggest fear was always experiencing ongoing discord. My parents were the only ones to get divorced in our family, and how they “integrated” their children with their step-children? Well, let’s say a “peaceful family unit” wasn’t high on the priority list; my parents were glad to move on to the next chapter of their lives, leaving their kids frozen out by their new partners for the most part, and feeling rather orphaned.
So I was afraid at the integration. I’ve seen other families fighting constantly over kids, childcare, support, rules and ongoing passive aggressive bullshit. I wasn’t going to have that in my life no matter what. I reached a saturation point for that in my twenties, and vowed not to repeat the same mistakes.
This morning my kids asked me for breakfast. I offered bagel and cream cheese, but it was “no sale”. I offered sugar laden cereal, and they seemed begrudgingly accepting, but asked gently about the possibility of “bacon”. [Insert shoulder slump]. I reminded them that breakfast is the one meal I completely suck at. Totally. (I suck at pies too and grilling). My scrambled eggs are consistently inedible and many things get burnt. Kevin has migrated to take over breakfast because he dislikes the charred smell that lingers in the house for days afterward.
Tonight the twins will go home to a Mommy who hasn’t seen them since Friday morning. A wonderful, loving mommy who misses them terribly. And so, knowing that the kids had a good stay with us, and having seen how their Mom smothers them in kisses when we drop them off (the only jealously is wishing I had experienced that as a child too), I am happy to pack them off. I mean, I’m not… they drive me mental, have been pointing out every Pokemon since Friday night to me, and otherwise average about two questions per minute (making it rather hard to write on schedule this week)… yeah I’ll miss them. I’m tired, and worn out but… tonight that quiet will set in that makes me wish they were still here. Even though I’ll be able to walk around the house in a t-shirt and underwear again.
This was me on Facebook this morning:
Followed by Instagram evidence:
So you see that children are really magical things. A little bit of faith and no fire trucks in the kitchen. Just a desire to try something that I’ve failed at millions of times, only because it mattered to the twins. Kids are really sneaky, aren’t they?
In other news, I’ll probably be writing until 2 in the morning from Wednesday through the weekend to catch up on my deadlines, but our kids swam, had time with us, with family and collected all the Pokemon they could find. Lucas is rolling with my old iPhone 4s from Canada (on WiFi only) because he learned that his iPhone 5 doesn’t like it when you forget it in your swim shorts for thirty minutes … while diving at Nana and Papaw’s pool. [Insert head thunk].
He is developing a chore strategy to save up for a new iPhone, since his Mommy (and we) agreed it was not our job to replace it if he was irresponsible. Glad we agree on the value of consequences, and again, that both houses are aligned. And I am grateful.