Raising a Blended Family


So, it’s been more than a month, you say.

And you haven’t heard a peep from me, you say.

I’m guilty as charged but I’ll tell you what… I’ve been theoretically living every moment my life yet it still doesn’t seem as if I’m getting anything more than snippets of each day to remember, to hold, to look back on and say “oh yes, this is what my life was on that day.” I want to reach out and freeze time but all I manage to do ever do, it seems, is to pluck tiny moments from its whirlwind stream as it flows by me, tiny moments to have and to keep and to cherish. I am glad to share them with you, if only to offer something in this space that currently houses nothing, but all you will get is all that I have: these snippets.

Snippet: My son, age newly three and still growing into his longer legs, face knees arms bruised and dirty from too many stumbles because slowing down means he’ll miss something, running through the open field in the park on a windy autumn day. His feet through leaves going crunch crunch crunch and his toddler hands grasping so many rocks, he is leaving a trail of pebbles like Hansel and Gretel as they traveled through the woods. He runs up, stops last at the last possible second before crashing pell mell into me, eyes brights and cheeks pink. He tries to hand me every.single.rock at once because “they’re my rock-os, mommy” and in that moment it is important to him that I keep them safe. So I do. I put them in my pockets and day later, after these jeans have been through the washer and the dryer with a curious clunking sound, I go to put them on and find my son’s treasures still hidden in the pockets. Safe.

Snippet: Waking up in the night with a baby curled into me, a baby who is new and not new, a whole two months of knowing her behind us and an unknown number in the future that could never be enough no matter how infinite. She has learned to smile and coo and as I look at her she is doing it now, in her sleep, her soft breathing the loudest thing in the room as her tummy moves up and down and her little fists relax, for once, so that I can actually see her palms. Touching her palms makes her grasp my finger and now I am hers because she has claimed me. She smiles in her sleep and I pull her closer and she sighs a tiny baby sigh, both of us safe and secure and loved and loving in the night.

Snippet: my oldest daughter, chasing me through the house. We have an ongoing duel of pranks and scares and in this moment, I have just scared her and she is set on revenge. We run and chase and run some more and I wonder about when she got so fast and how easily she is almost catching me and how long her legs are and how tall she is now, how almost-grown she is even as she plays still like a child. I duck and dodge and we laugh and try not to trip over so many toys scattered through the rooms. A door goes slam and on the other side she’s laughing, trying to tease me into coming out so that she can have her revenge. Ransom notes get passed under the door and neither side is winning but then it’s dinnertime and truce is called.