When Andrew and I started dating, we decided together that we wouldn’t introduce ourselves to each others kids for a while because we wanted to protect our kids from any extra emotional attachment and possible pain. Seems obvious, right? Sure! But when two people are in the middle of feeling totally and blissfully in love, it gets super hard to think clearly, but we did. It took us several months to finally introduce each other to the kids.
I told Jason about Andrew first before I told the kids, and Andrew told Wendy about me first before he talked to his. It’s only fair. Otherwise our exes would find out about each other through our children, and there’s nothing worse than feeling caught off guard while trying to keep our shit together.
Andrew met my kids first. I warned them that my new friend Andrew was popping in on his way home from work and that he’s wondering if any of them want ice cream from McDonald’s. The orders were placed through pounding hearts and nerves, and within minutes Andrew showed up with a tray of ice cream. Katie grabbed hers and stuck around while the boys snatched their sundaes and McDisappeared. Totally normal. Andrew stayed for maybe 15 minutes tops, and then took off. It was nerve-wracking but hey, it went well.
When I first met Kylah and Ethan, I stopped in at Andrew’s house to bring over the hockey tickets that I bought them for the game they were heading to that night. Kylah and Ethan had once caught me leaving their house and Andrew quickly told them that I was the cleaning lady. So when I showed up that night, we all had a laugh about that. We still laugh about that. Well, they do.
So that is how it all began and it’s still an ongoing process because it feels like we all get to know each other more and more every day. Not just our step family but our own blood sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, and parents.
Do we want our kids to like us? Sure, that would be nice. But as life unfolds, revealing its hidden beauty, dark and magical, we realize that our goal is not to get our kids to like us, but to show them that we are safe enough for them to hold onto when life goes to absolute shit.
Ice cream is just a bonus. A cleaning lady would be lovely, too. But there’s only room for one Suzy.