First published May 22, 2015
Each month we are given a prompt by Netflix and this month it was about being in an unconventional family, to tie in with the new show Grace and Frankie.
what is it about your modern family that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world?
Our little family has been very modern, unconventional, quirky, whatever you want to call it, for almost nine years now.
Nine years on the 27th of May, if we are being exact.
Nine years ago, Wednesday, my then six-year-old daughter and I married my husband in a barn.
You can read all about it here.
I say “we” got married because when you marry a woman with a child, you get the whole package.
So when we were planning the wedding, I told him that I really wanted her to have a part in the vows and how did he feel about it?
He wouldn’t have it any other way.
It was a day that everyone in that barn will never forget, I am sure. Because on that day, he not only married his bride but also her six-year-old daughter.
That sounded wrong.
What I am trying to say is that we vowed to be a family that day for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health.
Not many traditional families get the opportunity to do that.
Our little Ellie came along a year and a half after the wedding and we officially became a blended family.
For the first year of Ella’s life, Anna’s biological dad would call tell Anna that Ella was her half-sister to which Anna would correct him and say, “she is my full sister!”
Eventually, he stopped doing that and at the time it did bother me that he was undermining her even though he was officially correct but the takeaway was that in Anna’s sweet little mind, Ella was and always will be her full sister.
In a society obsessed with titles and tags, it really doesn’t matter what they will call her as long as she feels it in her heart.
I remember being at one of Anna’s soccer games and Ellie had just finished her first-ever game. Ella ran up to my ex-husband’s parents and hugged them. They were intently interested in her game, asking her questions, and acting like grandparents do. One of the other moms asked me if those were my parents and I smiled and said, “long story”.
I like being able to explain our story to people who we have just met. I love that we have a past, I think it makes us mysterious. We have this amazing twisty-turny storyline that not many other people in our lives have. It’s like being in on a secret that no one else knows, like a secret handshake to a cool club.
We have been a blended family for nine years now and while it has not always been easy, it has been an amazing ride.
There is this delicate balance when you are in a second marriage; trying to maintain the relationship between the child and their biological parent, not stepping on their toes, not trying to erase that relationship with the newfound stepdad. We have always made it Anna’s choice and taken us and our egos out of the equation. That sounds easy but it is hard, it is work, and it is missing in a lot of stepchild/stepparent/biological parent/ex-wife/ex-husband relationships.
But I have loved watching the relationship between my husband and Anna blossom and grow. It had its moments, especially in the tween and teen years but is now stronger and solid. They don’t see each other as “steps” but rather as daughter and dad. It makes me so proud of the family we created. So proud of this crazy, modern, quirky, unconventional family that we have created, largely on our own.
This “modern family” that we have worked hard to maintain, not at all “step” or “blended” but rather just “family”.
I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world, Netflix.
I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. Meaning, for the next year, once a month I will be writing posts about how my family is using our Netflix. They provided me with a Roku and a voucher for my Netflix account.