Family Threads

We just worshipped him, treated him like he was a little god.

I know there were days I wanted to beat the hell out of you for it.

Wondering whom this conversation was between and whom it was about? Well, last night I hosted a family dinner and that was just one of the short reminiscing I and my Wife-in-Law’ (WIF) had about our youngest son. Putting that conversation in context, I was the second voice the one that wanted to beat the hell of her, after I said it we both cackled while the son in question looked on bemused.

This is our blended family:

Family Threads Extended

I have known my WIF and her current husband for 28 years; I married her ex, when our shared sons were four and seven respectively. With only a few exceptions (barring blood relations), these are the longest standing relationships I have. I was legally married to our ex, the father of our shared sons for 14 years, from 1984 to 1998, I did not live with him that entire time and did not have what anyone would consider a traditional marriage, the one constant though, I adored my two stepsons, they owned me heart and soul. Every single time I considered leaving my marriage permanently, they were what kept me, they were what held me I could not bear to lose that connection.

In the early years of my marriage, it is safe to say my WIF and I were not the best of friends. I suspect we saw each other over the gulf that so often exists at the end of marriages. I know my ex remained enraged for years over what he believed was unfair treatment, as his wife I took his side. Overtime, the scales dropped from my eyes and it was easier to see that both sides had a story to tell. I don’t know when my WIF and I started to drop our animosity and find common ground; it was before her ex became my ex though.

I asked my WIF if I could write about her in my blog, as we were chatting she casually said, ‘you could call me the Baby Mama’.

My eldest, who is quite grown up at thirty-five, with a horrified look on his face replied for me, ‘you will not do that!’

These are my sons, who I adore.

They still have to do what I say

For 28 years they have held my heart, filled a hole I thought would remain empty forever. The first weekend they visited after I married their father, they confronted me with this epiphany;

We don’t have to do what you say, you aren’t our mother!

Spoken with true attitude and conviction by two children I was convinced were demon seed at that point in the weekend. My WIF had informed me she didn’t believe in spanking, it was obvious. To say we had different views on childrearing would have been an understatement!

There have over these many years been ups and downs, tears and laughter. There was a time when I thought I lost them and my heart would remain broken forever. We healed and here we are a family. The minister at our eldest son’s wedding several years ago tried to figure out who we are, specifically who we are to each other. When he had been introduced to us separately, it was as ‘My Mom’. Her husband was introduced by name, so clearly not ‘Dad’, my husband for obvious reasons, also not ‘Dad’. Finally the minister couldn’t stand it his curiosity got the best of him; he found us sitting together chatting and simply asked. Bless her, she said;

We’re the mom’s, we both divorced their Dad.

Family is a funny thing, how we ultimately form the bonds of love and hang on tight, sometimes without even realizing those bonds are wrapping themselves around us. We have added new marriages, grandchildren, new partners and perhaps soon new grandchildren. We are fortunate I think.

Baby Mama….Wife-in-Law

One is the name she gave herself last night to tweak our son. The other is the name we gave to each other because we couldn’t find another that described our family relationship properly and the bond we shared.

This is my Wife-in-Law and I, who I will always be grateful to for sharing her brilliant children with me and curing the hole in my heart.

The Two Moms

Comments

  1. OneHotMess says:

    This is absolutely lovely, Val. Perfect! Thank you!

    • Thanks, we are an odd pair she and I. We have shared so much over the years. We cackle like mad hens at times, plot the regular humiliation of our sons at others. We spend time talking about how to pull them out of bad relationships, ultimately agreeing we will simply be there to cushion the blow when it inevitably comes. We have learned so much from each other. We are blessed, but I most of all.

  2. this is such, SUCH, a good piece and i’m so glad i read it this morning. thank you for pointing me towards it. i have to say, the boy/man/ son to your left is the spitting image of my brother. spitting image. it’s eery, actually. but, i loved reading this, val. so, thank you. xoxo, sm

    • I am glad you enjoyed it! Aren’t you all twins? Then you are so good looking you must be to die for! The one on my left is the youngest, he is my soft and mushy side.

  3. Love, love, love it. At my nephew’s wedding, his biological parents did not attend (my sister had passed away, and his father was afraid of flying). His step parents did, along with their significant others. It was interesting to try to explain relationships to my nephew’s now wife’s family.

    Families, are, as Donkey says in Shrek, like Onions. We have layers. And we are all the juicier for it. 🙂

    • I will tell you in the early days if you would have said she and I would be sitting around drinking wine and reminiscing I would have laughed and then bet you lots of money thinking I could retire on my winnings.

      Now, well look at us. We are friends on FaceBook but list ourselves as “sister” for lack of a better designation (Sister Wife doesn’t really work does it). We share a common ex, some common issues with him but an agreement that we will never speak some ills to our sons. There are of course some things they know. Our common ex has been dead now several years, we have agreed to preserve his memory for our sons and take some of his secrets to the grave.

      Families are indeed odd, strange and wonderful. Onions are a great simile for them.

  4. Evolution of a family, love it:)

  5. Well, you got my first tears of the day 😉 So happy for you to find such love.

  6. The two of you are so stinking cute! Whatever you came to in the end, the boys turned out quite well. What a handsome bunch you all are ❤

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