Monday, July 13, 2009

Boundaries: Part II

When I started writing this blog a little over a month ago, I thought it would be a great way to share about our life as a blended family. And when I say family, that includes Jake's dad.

Except one thing. I didn’t tell Jake’s dad about it.

Why couldn’t I just tell him if we're so open? Yes, I had planned on talking to him about it. I didn’t know how.

Oh, hello there Cason. What time are you picking up Jake tonight, and by the way, I'm writing a blog about all of us....

So he found out accidentally. And initially, he wasn’t happy about it. His biggest concern: that I’d hurt him with something that I write.

But I’ll never do that, and I think I've already shown that from what I've written. Still, I understand his concerns. We're divorced. We have a history together. In our divorce, I made it very clear to him, to family members, to our counselor in our co-parenting sessions, and to friends that I have no intention of hurting him.

Because if I hurt him, I hurt his son. And that child, that little explorer, is my boy too. A child I would never want to wound. It’s our crap. Not Jake’s. And thank you very much, but I’ll keep our real bad crap to ourselves.

Another important reason: I let go of my anger a long time ago, and I want it to stay that way.

It’s a strange thing to be a blended family. It’s like, beyond strange. With Jake explaining who his stepfather is to friends. And me explaining that my son is with his father. And Mommy, can you order the Touch N' Brush for my dad? It’s strange, and it’s unconventional. But it’s my life. It’s the only life I know. And it’s the only life Jake knows.

I know other divorced families. People are so angry, so hurt. There’s so much fighting and so much resentment. We get divorced for a reason. People no longer get along. It’s not easy to continue to maintain the relationship once the paper is dissolved. But then there are the children. And anyone not trying to maintain some semblance of decency with their ex is doing a disservice to their child. All you can do is try. And if the other person makes it impossible to try, then you have to at least allow your children to make up their own minds about their parent -- without you bashing that person. Kids are always smarter than we think. Let them form their own decisions.

I was really, really reluctant to write this post. I was even reluctant to write this blog. I didn't want to mess the boundaries that we've worked so hard to place. But now that I have Cason's blessing to write to my heart's desire, I felt that it was important to continue to express that being in a blended family is a work in progress. And I'm proud of that work that me, Cason and Andy put into it. My relationship with Cason is still a working relationship. Different from a marriage or a partnership. But still, a relationship.

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