Forgive me, reader, for being off the grid for the past few days. If you will recall, just two short weeks ago, I began this journey of blogging with a post about how I was actually looking forward to the start of the school year, which is now just three short days away. Friday, I ended a two-week marathon with my kiddo when I dropped him off at his daddy’s. Although I will see him briefly Tuesday for his school’s open house where he gets to meet his teacher, see his room and desk and drop off the requisite school supplies, summer break for me is over.
I am surprisingly not nearly as excited about that as I thought I would be. I had planned to write this post Friday evening, but my first night without the little bugger got me down a bit, and I wallowed on the sofa catching up on my DVR. As trying as it was at a particular moment or two, bedtime almost every night, I was sad that our fun-filled days had come to an end for this summer.
Saturday was particularly busy, however. I showed houses for a couple of hours, and I actually get to write an offer for an old friend of mine who is moving back home because of a job transfer. After that, I met with some fellow members of Skipah’s Army to strategize some future moves in the #sloanestayshome campaign. I also had the extreme pleasure and honor to spend the evening with some people who have been near and dear to my heart for over 25 years.
I saw a beautiful young lady who married the man of her dreams today, that I once changed diapers for and saw just moments after her birth. My dad remarried pretty soon after my mother passed away many years ago. I became very close to my then stepfamily, and although the marriage didn’t work out, when my dad visited me in college to tell me he was getting a divorce, I looked at him dead in the eye and said, “You can divorce her, but I’m not.”
To this day, I am still invited to all family events and attend as often as I can: weddings, showers, holidays and even funerals. Although I was unable to attend the ceremony earlier in the day, you’d better believe I was there for the reception. This young girl was once my niece, and I still love her as such.
Don’t get me wrong. My dad did remarry again, 22 years ago, and I now have five nieces and nephews that I have watched grow up in to amazing adults. One of them is already going through a divorce, which I absolutely hate to see, and another is getting ready to get married herself. I love them all very much, and I rarely refer to any of my family with the prefix of “step.” However, my “ex-step family” is still very much family to me as well, and it literally brought tears to my eyes to see this baby I held when she was just minutes old cutting her wedding cake and dancing with her daddy, who I still consider a big brother.
I sat at a table with my “little” brother and his three beautiful kids, who I wish thought of me also as their aunt, but sadly they barely know me. His oldest spoke to me quite a bit though, even initiating conversation with me. She is getting ready to start 7th grade and has met me several times over the years and seems to finally be comfortable around me and recognize who I am.
I was quite emotional by the time I left, regretting that I did not go to the last family Thanksgiving. My parents always host Thanksgiving at their home the weekend prior to or right after the actual holiday, so that is the one special holiday I usually do spend with my “other” family. I had only been separated from my ex-husband a month, however, and didn’t feel like being social and explaining why I was there without him (even though he hated going to that kind of thing and probably wouldn’t have been with me anyway).
Being adopted, I have always believed that blood does not make a family. Love does. Tonight just reinforced that very heavily for me and made me sad that I have not made more of an effort to see these wonderful people as the years have gone by. You can bet that is going to change!
I have lots of other fun things to share that have happened since you last heard from me, but I will save that for another post, as it is getting late and I am exhausted. I think I need to go tell the Sleep Police officer sitting in my driveway that Rugrat is at his daddy’s and fast asleep. I’m not sure if they were here last night, but I saw the headlights as the patrol car turned into my driveway.