The end of last week was a little dicey…
Shortly after 4pm on Friday, we had our first “the call” from SD3’s preschool. The call was to let us know she broke her arm, and we needed to come pick her up.
I could write a play-by-play of that evening… how sick we all felt… how her little broken arm felt in my palm… how disruptive SD5 was, making a scene because her Friday night plans had to be cancelled… how brave SD3 was, barely crying all night…
But instead, I want to write about how this event brought our blended family together. How my husband and I spent all evening Friday with BM and they didn’t argue. How Saturday, she actually asked me to spend a couple of hours at her place watching the girls while she went to the store. How since Friday night, my husband, BM, and I have all been communicating so much better.
I dare to say it, but BM and I really did bond this weekend. At face value, we were friendly, we directly called and text each other, and we even spent about 45 minutes “just chatting” in-person on Saturday. SD5 even told me that she likes that me & Mommy are “friends now.” *Shudder* Is that what we are?! BM, without prompting, opened up to me about personal things, including her recently ended engagement. I’m not sure exactly why it happened, but I feel like BM really let her guard down these past 6 days. She even said to me, “I feel like we really got to bond over this [the broken arm fiasco],” and, “If we are all going to be in the girls lives forever, I think it’s important that we get along, and that the girls see us interact.”
Forever? So she actually sees me sticking around forever?? An interesting (and amazing) development.
The optimist in me is hopeful that this is a sign of good things to come. Although I know there will be continued ups and downs forever- as there are in all families- I’m optimistic this is a step in the right direction.
The realist in me knows that may not be the case. I know that I need to keep my guard up around BM, because one week of positive interactions does not erase the way she has acted the past several years. I am not naive, and know that history repeats itself, and her mood fluctuating like the tides is not going to end anytime soon. Her incessant need to control every aspect of everyone’s lives is still at her core, and will still be a weight on our shoulders forever.
Despite the realist in me, I really do feel like we are in a good place right now. It is sad that it often takes tragedy to bring people together, but I am happy I was able to see us all come together for the good of our kids… a task I never thought we would be able to accomplish.
So many “veteran stepmom’s” I follow write about how time is what it takes for blended families to figure things out… “It gets better with time!” I never thought I would have this bonding moment with my kids BM. I would read those posts, and think, “Yeah… that will never happen for us… we will always have a high-conflict situation.” Although this is just one small step in the right direction, I’m so glad we had it.