Me, Peyton (Jeff & Molly’s daughter), & Cami
This time of year is always busy for our family in both households. We have several birthdays in a row, March of Dimes, school getting out soon, a teenager learning to drive, prom, and a baby shower. Not to mention the regular kid parties, sleep-overs, and other running around we all have to do. I think life is crazy this time of year for everyone!
March of Dimes 2015 for Miss Peyton
I wanted to add some snapshots of what has been happening in our world. After spending time mourning loved ones, adjusting to first holidays without them, we started spring with a bang. Cami won an award with her robotics team before the season wrapped up.
Cami with her Robotics Team Creativity Award
We celebrated Ayden and Peyton’s birthdays on the same day at a joint birthday party at Jeff and Molly’s house. The best part? When Ayden sneezed right onto the top of cake after blowing the candles out before it was even cut! I was one of the last guests to leave, staying behind to help Molly clean the kitchen to give Cami some quality time with her siblings. Even some of our extended family members find it strange at times how comfortable we are. I must say though, we did NOT start off this way. There are plenty of awkward moments still, although they are mostly due to people outside of our family.
Me, Ayden (Jeff & Molly’s son), & Cami
Peyton turned three, and Ayden turns four in another week. My oldest daughter, Ali turned 16 in April. I can’t believe I am the mom of a 16-year-old-freaking-kid! How did that happen? We threw her a party at her dad’s house, since they have a bigger backyard with a fire pit. The photo below is of Peyton watching Ali and all of her friends sitting around the bonfire. She stood at the back door tapping on the glass, asking to go out with the big girls. My husband and I assisted with the party. I picked up the cake and the cupcakes, and made dip. We know some people who are still thrown off by our situation, by how at ease we all seem to be around one another. They don’t understand how I can walk into my ex-husband’s home, cook in his kitchen, wash dishes with his wife, and stand side by side with both of them for a four-hour period. At one point in time these things were awkward, but over the years the feelings of discomfort succumbed to the satisfaction we gain from watching our children succeed. There are still small moments when someone says something out of line, asks an inappropriate question or treats one of us differently. We all have disagreements at times, but the difference is we choose to resolve them as a group.
Peyton, watching Ali & her friends during her 16th party
Both of my daughters are winding up the school year with 4.0 grade point averages, which we are extremely proud of. The hormones are inducing tantrums, crying fits, and random mood-swings (in the adolescents as well) :-). Teens and pre-teens are so much fun.
March of Dimes is important to our family. Peyton, Cami and Ali’s little sister (Jeff and Molly’s daughter) was born with Turner’s Syndrome. She has gone through multiple surgeries and medical procedures in her three years. We show up every year to show our support, even the ex-wife, aka Mama Trish to Peyton and Ayden.
The toughest part of the last few months has been letting go of my oldest daughter. Now sixteen, she is asserting her independence. Learning to drive, I am the lucky parent without little kids in my vehicle who can let her practice, and I honestly don’t know how other parents went through this rite of passage without having a panic attack every time. I try to stay calm as she bashes into the grill in the driveway with my truck -my only vehicle. I kept my voice steady as she backed over the curb and into the neighbor’s yard, just as he happened to pull into his garage. She blamed me for that one, apparently I distracted her. Teens!
We wrapped up last week with Ali going to prom with one of her senior friends. The same day as March of Dimes, Molly and the little ones were unable to come over, but they were with us in spirit.
How does your blended family handle birthday parties and other milestones? Would you consider have co-birthday parties?
Trish Eklund is taking a nontraditional approach to parenting children after divorce and remarriage. Raising her two daughters of twelve and fifteen with her husband, ex-husband, and his wife, they consult one another on all parenting decisions. Trish is the owner and founder of Family Fusion Community, and Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed. Trish has been featured on www.playground-magazine.com, www.bigblendedfamily.com, and, www.herviewfromhome.com. Follow her on Twitter: @trishiewriter, Google +, Pinterest, Instagram, and LinkedIn.