Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Show & Tell: Fifty Years!!

This week's Show and Tell is along the same theme of anniversaries from two weeks ago, except that now it's my parent's anniversary. My parent's anniversary is three days after ours. Two weeks ago, my parents had their 50th Wedding Anniversary. FIFTY YEARS. The BIG 5-0. They have been married longer than I have been on the planet. I have a hard time comprehending that, having only been married three years. The picture above is from their wedding. My older sister now looks almost exactly as my Mom did in this picture.

In celebration, we had a family reunion with all their six children and almost all of the 15 grandchildren. Four of those grandchildren are stepchildren, two of those are mine. Yes, I have stepchildren, for which I am grateful. Being a stepparent is complicated, but I do get to express some of my mothering qualities with them. Although having stepchildren is not the same as having your own children, I treat them as my own when I am allowed and when I allow myself to. Part of treating them as my own was to bring them to the family reunion.

One of my brothers had the audacity to assume that we would not be bringing Magic's kids, my stepsons, to the reunion. He assumed that they didn't want to come. To me, that would be like saying that his children would not be coming if they did not want to. You drag your kids along if you have to, knowing that once they get there, they will be glad you did it. My other brother with the two stepdaughters understood how I felt about this, because he treats his stepdaughters as his own too. Originally, he told me that his two teenage stepdaughters would not be coming to the family reunion because they were busy with other things. I was pleasantly surprised to see them there this weekend. I can't help but think that my bringing my stepsons had something to do with it.

I felt sad at the reunion, seeing my brothers' and sisters' children and feeling pangs of longing for having a family of my own. Yesterday, my older stepson said to me, "I think your family is cool." I felt so good when he said that! He made a connection with my family and me. My Dad even made a point of saying how he had gotten to know my stepsons at the reunion. The circle had widened. I do have a family, even though it's not in the traditional sense of the word.

8 comments:

loribeth said...

Thanks for sharing -- what a great photo! And how nice that you were able to bring your SKs to the reunion (better yet, that they enjoyed it!). I know several stepmoms (some with their own kids, some without) & it can be a very complex relationship. Families come in all shapes & sizes these days...

geeksinrome said...

You do have a cool family! Your sis really does look like your mom here and Dad looks like yr bro, P.!!

I am so glad your stepkids went to the reunion. That was a great call and how nice it also turned into an important learning moment for them and your dad.

For the reunion, did you guys sit around and fart at the dinner table like usual!? hee hee

Arian said...

Very cool post! I can't imagine being married for 50 years! It is wonderful to see your family bonding. I think that stepkids are as much someone's family as anyone else and it was very cool to hear that you all made a connection and were brought a bit closer!

Lori said...

Dang, girl, we have a lot almost in common. My folks are nearing 50, too. And our anniversary is 3 days BEFORE theirs.

And we, too, are having a big reunion this year.

Very cool picture. And I want to know the answer to geeksinrome's question.

Phoebe said...

Yes, we did sit around the dinner table, but I did not hear any farting, amazingly enough. But, there was a lot of talking, so one may have squeaked by without noticing, LOL!!

Lost in Space said...

What a great photo. Congrats to your parents!!

I'm so glad your boys went to the reunion. Family really is what you make it. I often have to think about which of my cousins are not fully blood related. It just shouldn't matter.

The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) said...

How lovely! You DO have a wonderful family. I love your stories about your step-kids. You write with a lovely tenderness about them. And it's beautiful to see you embracing them and yourself.

luna said...

what a wonderful photo and story. thanks for sharing!