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Family, Part II

March 5, 2014

Today (March 5) is my stepsons’ 15th birthday. I’m no longer married to their mother, and we live in different states, so my hold on our relationship is tenuous at best. It’s still better than what I have with their two older sisters, which is nothing. I didn’t foresee the end of my marriage being the end of my family. We both made bad choices. I didn’t know those choices would affect them so much. Naively, I saw the relationship between my ex-wife and I, and its demise, as only between the two of us. Though it was never meant to be a battle for love or loyalty, she’s Mom to them, and so I was destined to lose.

A long, long time ago.

A long, long time ago.

We were together for almost a decade, and married for over 8½ years. Her four kids were, respectively, 3, 4, and 9 when I came into their lives. The oldest I adopted. Her younger siblings had their father nearby, but I was at home with them and grew into being a father to them. Eventually they called me “Dad,” but now I’m back to “Jason.” I don’t regret leaving a failed marriage. I was blessed to watch four great kids grow up and have such an important role in their lives while I did. What ended needed to end. What won’t end is loving them. I haven’t done my best to stay close to the boys, and the girls would prefer not to acknowledge my existence, but I love them all. I would do anything in my power to help any one of them at a moment’s notice. Even if one day I have a biological child, or adopt one, they’re still my kids too.

I can only hope that time does heal all wounds. In many ways I feel like ten years of my life were all but blinked out of existence, as if they never happened. An “instant family” may not have been something I was ready for, but I tried. I smile at memories and learn the lessons of experience.

It’s been my lifelong dream to have a child who only knows me as Dad. I’m nearing 40 and I don’t know if I will meet someone with whom I can share this amazing journey. What I do know is I have the love in my heart to give to both a partner and a child. Trust me, if I didn’t like kids, I wouldn’t have endured six years of middle school. Even in the role of a teacher, there is no underestimating the impact you can have when you touch the life of a child. Part of the void is filled by the presence of my “best framily,” the subject of Part III. Stay tuned :)

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol Lynne permalink
    March 5, 2014 8:33 am

    Love it!!! Looking forward to Part III Let me know if I have to warm up the prod.

    • March 7, 2014 12:15 am

      Thanks Carol. Does the prod ever get cold?

      • Carol Lynne permalink
        March 7, 2014 1:30 am

        Come to think of it, no it doesn’t . I have to use it often with other people.

      • March 7, 2014 8:12 pm

        I can only imagine ;)

  2. March 5, 2014 3:24 pm

    Great job. It’s tough I know but I also know how very much you love them.

    • March 7, 2014 12:15 am

      Thank you. I’m not sure I can think of any post that was harder to write than this one. But it feels good to get it out there.

  3. March 6, 2014 4:07 pm

    I know that was a sad chapter at its end, but things are looking up. Hope to read about brighter prospects in parts 3 and 4. (Btw, paragraph 1, sentence beginning “Naively”: change “my ex-wife and I” to “my ex-wife and me.”) ;-)

    • March 7, 2014 12:17 am

      You’re absolutely right; as the object of the preposition “between” it should be “me.” I am giving you a Grammar Geek shirt for your birthday. :D

  4. vickyvix permalink
    March 9, 2014 1:59 pm

    I didn’t realize you had been through all of this. I can hear the pain in your voice. Thank you for sharing.

    • March 13, 2014 11:00 pm

      It was cathartic to write it but, yes, the pain is quite real. Thank you for reading and commenting and still being around after all these years!

      • vickyvix permalink
        March 14, 2014 9:39 pm

        :) I get to read your writing. It’s my pleasure! Now, if only I could actually summon the energy to write on my *own* blog. :)

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