THE BLENDER NEVER STOPS RUNNING
I assumed that by the time I was entering into my 15th year of blended family bliss that our issues would be behind us - we would surely be fully blended by then. Boy was I wrong! THE BLENDER NEVER STOPS BLENDING! No matter how long you've been together! No matter how many storms you've weathered landing on the other side safely - there's always a new challenge waiting around the corner.
Some expected - some unexpected - some a complete blindside.
THE BLENDER NEVER STOPS
Our family life has faced major changes over the past two years. Two kids off to College - EXPECTED. Figuring out who I am AGAIN as an almost empty nester - UNEXPECTED. My lack of a relationship with my youngest Step Daughter - BLINDSIDE.
When we started our blending, Little Hart was just shy of her second birthday. It was an instant connection between the two of us.
Although, my four other Step Kids came with loyalty issues surrounding their respective Mothers - Little Hart had none. She was a toddler, born into two families because her Mom and Dad separated months before her birth. Little Hart had yet to learn the rules of divorce parent loyalty.
As Little Hart grew older - her mini-me personality of my Hubby blossomed along with the bond I shared with her. At her Mom's house - that same personality blossom became a growing source of tension. At times their relationship looked like a mini reenactment of the marital tug of war of her parents. Not surprising, Greta wasn't particularly thrilled about the growing bond Little Hart and I shared.
Then came the unexpected - Little Hart's brush with death. Life looked like it would change for the better following her nine day trauma. Greta made rebuilding her relationship with Little Hart her top priority and Little Hart accepted Greta's olive branch. I did everything in my power to encourage and facilitate their desire to start anew.
At the time I saw this as Little Hart expanding her circle of people. I knew our relationship was bound to change - her Mom would likely become her number one - I hoped that we would still remain close.
Turned out to be just wishful thinking on my part. As Little Hart's relationship with Greta grew closer - the loyalty card to Mom came out in full force. Instead of Little Hart's emotional world welcoming another member - Mom was in and I was out. Way, way, way out.Ugh! Loyalty issues with the one kid I never thought I would ever have to deal with this crazy stuff.
The loyalty dance has been going on for a couple of years now. Lately its morphed into loaded questions directed at Raylan with the underlying sentiment, please Dad pick my Mom. "Dad - My Mom says you loved the way she caressed your arm" or at my birthday dinner no less - "Dad - Mom says that Raylando is her special name for you - No one else calls you by that name. Right? You like her special name for you?" Greta calls him by his given name. Or introducing me as her Dad's 'NEW WIFE" as Greta is within earshot. Yep - my relationship that has lasted four times longer than Greta's relationship with my Hubby, but I'm the Newbie!
This isn't new for Greta, but it is for Little Hart. Greta left Raylan for greener pasture 17 years ago, but it hasn't turned out to be as green or as lush on the other side as she imagined. Since then Greta's spent a fair amount of time watering the grass in the Raylan relationship past. Not surprising - it's pretty wonderful back there. In the past, Little Hart expressed frustration that her Mom hadn't moved on - now it seems she's joined the promo tour.
Jumping in with a splash of cold water - taking offense - unleashing a guilt trip - creating a Lisa's relationship with Dad is better than the one Dad shared with Mom is a losing proposition all the way around for Little Hart. No words can ever compete with a fantasy because fantasies are perfect. So I bite my tongue and smile in public - laugh, cry, bitch, scream in private to my Hubby.
As of late Raylan's taken a more active role in splashing cold water over the fantasy. Outwardly showing me empathy, sympathy, love and dedication. Our relationship has grown deeper - a constant reminder to me of why I started this blending journey to begin with. The reality of our relationship along with the duration speaks volumes in response to the ghosts of relationships past.
I don't regret my role in creating a positive climate for Little Hart and Greta's relationship to nuture and grow even knowing how it would turn out. It was 100% the right call for Little Hart.
I have no idea what the future holds with my relationship with Little Hart. I'm keeping the door to my heart open in case she decides to walk through it again. The Blender never stops running around here!