Friday, March 16, 2012

Life as I Know It: What About the Children?

The past few weeks, I have thought a lot?about Dad's oldest brother's family. Kind of all-over-the-map thoughts.

There was a dredging up of the past that?I didn't want to dwell on. All I could think about was?here and now. I believe that was the correct place to focus my energy.

Now that the dust has settled, I continue to think of this family. A family affected by divorce, remarriage, step?parents and half siblings.

It is the children that are thrown into the mix of?all of the above that has grasped my attention and won't let go.

Twenty years ago, I walked away from remarriage and a blended family situation because I was afraid that I was not up to the task. I felt there was a high risk of children being hurt.

If I was to become a step parent, I would want to be like?a certain?step dad that I know and admire. I ran the risk of hurting innocent children. My own children were at risk of being drawn into the vortex. I had a flash forward of what could happen to?all of the?children involved. I?walked away and I know without a doubt that it was the right thing for me to do.

I don't know if Dad and My Uncle were watching over me from above and steering me away from a decision that had the potential of exploding and hurting innocent bystanders ... but in looking back, it seems as though they could have been. I remember My Uncle once telling me (shortly before I was married) not to go ahead if I had any doubts. That time, I didn't listen ...

Step parenting when you have your own children cannot be easy. I haven't lived it. I have only lived outside of it. The step dad that is my hero, did not have his own children to bring into the marriage. Knowing the stand up kind of guy that he is, I question whether that?would have made a difference. It is one factor that may have helped ...

A few days ago, I spoke ever-so-briefly to the step child of the other party involved. She said almost nothing. But what she said will stay with me. She didn't have good memories about that time of her life either.

When?parents bring a brand new baby into a loving home that already has a child or children, it is complicated enough. A child that has been the center of their parent's universe must now share their parents, their home and the rest of their life with this brand new intruder. How must it feel to be a half grown child be thrown into a new family situation without any control and told they?must accept this?

Marriage and divorce is tricky business. It seems to be a fact of life these days. I've been there and done that. Separating a family brings up a volatile mix of emotions and scenarios. It's bad enough when it is adults hurting adults. But what about the children?

I have been far from?a perfect parent, but I am relieved to know that?I made a few decisions?in my life that were in the best interests of my children (and other children involved). I didn't risk my heart in doing so. If I felt my children were at risk, my heart?became detached.

Maybe that makes me cold and heartless in the ways of love.?But I don't believe that. Not for an instant. I have found what is best for my children, has been the best for me.?I didn't value myself to make good choices for myself. Thank goodness I valued my children. I believe that saved all of us.


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