Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Tail End

Graduation 007

Yesterday, Hubster and I decided that Commencement exercises were created by people who have two or fewer kids. It's fun to see her so excited to move onto the next phase of her life. She was 5 when Hubster and I got married, and her graduation marks the end...the end of something I can't quite put my finger on. We're the child support-ed, not the child support-er, so, it isn't that. The nest is obviously not empty, so it's not that. Maybe it is that the negotiations with the ex-spouse are officially over. That part hasn't been too tough for a while now, but even so, I guess it's just the idea that they are all adults now and make their own choices and be cognizant of everything that needs to go into and results from, those choices. I no longer feel the weight of being responsible for them pressing down on me.

Graduation 017

Don't get me wrong, I've always felt that we were a family, I've always done for my step-kids as though they were my own, but I always did feel a deep responsibility to their mother. That sense of responsibility has really made a separation in the past couple of years. Teenagers are tough. I can't pretend I didn't wish on more than one occasion that their mother would have had to deal with them instead of me. Being the Disneyland parent sounded pretty good sometimes. But overall, I'm just glad to be moving into a new relationship with my now grown step kids. Instead of feeling compelled to teach, I am looking forward to sitting back and letting them come to me for advice. Instead of feeling the need to set guidelines and enforce rules, I am looking forward to letting natural consequences take over and leave me as the sympathetic ear.

I know it's not really the end of anything to me, but it still feels like a new beginning.

Graduation 018


Gabriela said...

Congrats to your step-daughter-she is beautiful-looks like you guys could be sisters. I always love to read about your perspective on family issues.

Cute family picture.

That horse poop is nasty!

Kacey said...

Congratulations on getting two sucessfully launched into adulthood. You just have a few more to go and it goes by too quickly.... so hang on and enjoy the ride. The kids are all so cute...and why does the step-daughter look so much like you? So pretty!