My ten year old son came home from school last Friday and said, “Mom, my friend Paisley is SO lucky! She is going to the Superbowl with her dad and his new wife!” I told him that she was very lucky indeed, and right out of nowhere, he asked if his dad & I ever got divorced, would either one of us marry someone else. This sparked a discussion about divorce, remarriage, and step-families. He commented that most of his friends have step-parents & siblings and that he had very few friends that have their “original” parents. I explained that families look different all over the world, and there is not a right or wrong way to have a family.
Growing up, our family experienced several divorces over the course of 18 years, which meant that I had several step-parents and step sisters. Although at times it was difficult, I learned to love all of those people and considered them my family. The one constant in my life was going to my dad’s house every weekend, which sparked my life-long love for sports (hockey & football especially!). When I was 13, he remarried and moved out of state and I dearly missed those weekends.
My husband & I have been married for 21 years, and our boy’s have never known any different than what they have experienced a “family” to be. I have talked before about my step parents & step sisters with them, but I hope that this discussion about different kinds of families made my son realize that all families are not the same, and that’s okay! Whether it is a single parent, grandparent, foster or step family, it is still a family…and that is what counts!