Thursday, June 18, 2009

Two Rocks

Jake came home the other day from before care (a morning childcare program that Jake goes to a few times a week) to tell me what the kids made for Father's Day.

"Rocks," he said. "And we painted them."

Nice, I thought. So we'd give Cason a painted rock as well as the infamous, magical Touch n' Brush for Father's Day.

"Everyone made one," he said. "But I made two. For Dad and for Andy."

Of course, this made my heart stir. Look, all Andy really wants for Father's Day is to be able to go to his yoga class. And yes, Andy has his own biological child now to give him a Father's Day gift. While that gift might merely be a soggy diaper, she's all his.

But in a blended family, you want both the biological parent and the stepparent to be celebrated. And with or without the stupid rock -- they will be. Cason was even kind enough to offer to share Father's Day. Morning breakfast with Jake at iHop with his Dad. Afternoon barbecue at Andy's sister's house with stepdad.

So I thought more about the two rocks. Was Jake really evolved enough to want to create two Father's Day gifts on his own? He's adorable and sweet... but he's five.

"Whose idea was it to make two rocks, honey?" I asked.

"My teacher," he said. "She passed out rocks to everyone, but to me she said, 'You get two.'"

God, I love those before-care teachers. It was incredibly thoughtful to include Andy. Typically, the stepparent gets the shorter end of the stick. And it must hurt. Andy gives everything to my child. As if Jake is his own. Clearly, they recognized how important Andy was in Jake's world and helped Jake express it through... rock art.

When Jake came home yesterday from pre-k with more Father's Day presents, he came home with one rock. Let me just say, Andy doesn't need no stinkin' rock to tell him how much Jake means to him. (Second, who knew rocks were such a hot commodity?) Still, there's something about this that bothers me. Jake's pre-k teacher is aware of our family. She's met Andy a number of times and Jake even made this remarkable family picture in her class. (Isn't it amazing how he included all of us? Even Elke, before she was born? It blows my mind every time I look at it.) Clearly, Andy is very tall, very red, small-headed and consists of only two lines. How can you not make this man a rock?

Okay, fine. So the pre-k teacher didn't have Jake make a second rock. (And since we have three rocks now, it really is okay.)

But don't you just love the teacher who did?


  1. Hi Hayley :) We are a blended family too and it is rocking, finally.

  2. Hi Maggie May! I think the stories of successful blended families really need to be out in the world. I'm so glad to hear that yours is working as well. Of course there are bumps... but considering I grew up in such a crummy blended family, I've found that committing to being one large family unit helps all of us ... especially my son.

    thanks so much for commenting!


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