Sunday, August 19, 2012

My (Blended) Family

My house feels eerily empty right now.  My stepdaughter spent nine weeks with me and my husband this summer.  This is almost twice as long as she was able to stay last summer and it's the longest we've had her at any one time.  She lives in South Carolina and we live in Virginia, so during the school year she stays with us every other weekend, alternate Thanksgivings, half of Christmas Break, and the week of Spring Break.  When she stays for a weekend, there's barely enough time to get used to her being here before it's time for her to go back to her mom's.  When she stays for extended periods of time we get comfortable.  We settle into a routine that's different from the one my husband and I follow when it's just the two of us.  Normally, I tend to like a lot of "me" time.  When my stepdaughter is here, it forces me outside of myself and into the world.  I consciously spend less time hiding out by myself and more time interacting with her.

It's not so bad when my stepdaughter goes back to her mother's after spending just a weekend with us.  Weekends are always set aside for spending time with family and friends anyway.  When my stepdaughter goes back to her mother's after staying with us the entire summer her absence is profound.  There's no one to tease about moving so slowly in the mornings.  There are no cute little outfits to lay out because there is no little person to wear them.  No one runs out to my car as I leave for work to wave goodbye.  No one needs me to answer random questions about how the world works.  No one asks me to pick them up by their feet so they can hang upside down.  There is no one to join in when I tease my husband.  No one needs me to braid their hair or to pick out a hair tie that matches their clothes.  There is no one watching the Disney Channel when I come home from the gym; I am greeted by a silent television and an empty room. 

So right now my house feels empty, although it is not.  My husband and I are there, doing what we always do.  I've always savored our quiet evenings together.  I'm sure I will come to enjoy them again.  Right now, though, the house is just a little too quiet...

1 comment:

  1. Children have a profound effect on our lives. My daughter is going back for her senior year. I can say that I am grateful for my 1 year old niece.

    Children make us recognize love in a very different way. I didn't understand love very clearly until my daughter was born and she gazed into my eyes the first time.

    Switching gears...I am sure you will find something fun to do. Step out and do something wildly different!



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