Thursday, July 16, 2015

Alternative Families

As many of you may by now know, my family is not exactly the "American Dream" so to speak. My sons have 2 different biological fathers. My husband is my youngest son's father. My oldest son, Riley, has another dad, who he absolutely adores. For a long time my relationship with my eldest son's father was... less than awesome. Over the past 9 years, I've worked very hard to open communication back up between us, and include him in family events. You know why? Because we are a family. My son's and their father's and I, are a family. It's important that Riley knows that he is part of a family who loves each other. Even if sometimes that is hard to do.

So for his birthday this year we all went camping and to six flags. We all had a great time. Riley said it was his second best birthday EVER.

But it took us a long time to get here. It didn't just happen overnight. I can't speak from my ex's point of view but for me, it took a lot of forgiving and letting things go. It meant looking at things from Riley's perspective, and Jon (my ex's) perspective and spending a whole lot less time thinking about how things affected ME, or how something he had said was offensive.
It took sacrifice, but most of all it took love. It took me remembering that this was a man who at one point in my life I had loved enough to make a child with. It took realizing that he gave me my most precious gift. My first son. So, despite everything that had happened between us, none of it really mattered. What mattered was what Riley SAW, and that what he was going to see from then on was parents who cared for one another and who could do things with him together. 
We went out together for father's day. My 2 sons, their 2 fathers and myself. Now, I can't speak for everyone, but I think we all had a blast. Playing on the dock and going out for lunch. Even playing disc golf together.

My family isn't standard, but it's a family, and in my opinion, it's a great one.

Not all families are 2 parents and their shared genetic children. Some families have 2 moms or 2 dads. Some families have no moms. There are families that are grandkids with their grandparents. Some are a mix of adopted and genetic. Or step-kids and biological. Some families are transient while others all more permanent. Some families live together and others don't. Love makes a family. That's the glue. If you'd lay down your life for someone else's they're your family. If you think of them at night before you go to bed. If you want the best for them no matter what they've done or said. That's your family. Don't let anyone ever tell you any different.

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