A man becomes a dad when.....?
My husband did not watch Lesse or D be born, in fact at the time of their birth I would have never dreamed or thought that I would meet my husband. Trey did not come into their lives until they much past the dirty diapers, spit ups, and sleepless nights - okay maybe not sleepless nights we do have a teenager!
Over the past year +, I have had the great pleasure of watching my husband go from just being Trey to being a Dad. From the outside looking in - it looked like an immediate transformation, but from the inside looking out - it was a slow beautiful process (unlike childbirth).
On our very first "family date" you know where Trey got to experience dating a mom with 2 crazy kids and going out to dinner with us - my well spoken, very protective, and sometimes jealous son pipes up and says "Trey, my mom farts like an elephant" - speechless and a little amused Trey responded "well alright then" - we both knew this was an attempt to scare Trey off.
When the scare tactic didn't work - the Man of the House tactic moved in. D was sure to tell Trey that "I love my mom more than you ever will" - true stuff, I am D's number one lady, but I am Trey's also in a different way.
As our engagement progressed, we had to make the big decision of who was going to give me away at our wedding. D piped up again and said "You can marry my Mom, but I am not giving her away" - okay, Mom stayed in the family and D walked me down the isle.
Blending our family came with lots of fears, worry, anxiety, and maybe some anger!
Then on our wedding day (nearly a year ago) this happened:
Our Family Blended!
However, the work had only begin.
Trey was a new dad - only the kids were not babies! He was more like a kindergartner in high-school, trying to speed learn algebra - and the algebra always changing!
First there was softball, he fretted she may dehydrate, packed extra water, ran back forth between games, and got extremely mad when the ump made a bad call.
Then there was school shopping, they had to have all the cool stuff, you know they couldn't start school (for the 4th & 8th time) with just average colored folders - their shoes had to be good shoes, comfortable shoes, and the shorts - they must not be too short!
Later came basketball, an after school babysitter, and oh no D needs extra reading help. In the middle of this, we decided to move - so we faced nightmares, new bus route, and Mom forgot to pay the school lunch bill! Parenting is Tough and ever changing!
In the middle of this, Trey slowly formed bonds...
It started gradually with prayer time and Bible study with D before bed. This seemed like no big deal, but later I realized, without those few minutes of the day - D does not sleep well. They would read a little verse, talk a little about God, and I often would hear some giggles coming from the room.
Later became "car talk" with Lesse - while Trey was shuffling between basketball, volleyball, or softball they would talk - about Boys, God, Girl Drama, Mom, D, and Chores - only later did I discover that she preferred to tell him stuff first, so he could gently break the news to me - smart girl maybe.
"first time father look"
This past year, I have seen that "first time father look" on my husbands face - more than once actually!
There was the first time Lesse made a goal at her basketball game - he nearly jumped out of the stands cheering for her!
The first time D helped him mow the yard with him - both beaming with excitement as they turned donuts in the yard!
The day that Lesse was baptized, followed shortly later by D - those days may have been better than the day they were born - and there was pride, joy, hope, and love glowing in his face.
Then there was the bad first; the first heartbreaks, disappointments, the time the dog got loose and D was worried she had left forever - when she was only down the street, the first time Lesse got scared by a storm and woke him up 3 times in one night - on a work night!
Step Dads are Dads
Last week we were driving home from church and both kids were riding with me - my car was filled with chatter - and Lesse said "mom can you believe that my friend didn't know Trey was not my real dad"....... I was speechless............She went on to say "yeah, I told her that I have 2 dads, I love them both" there was silence in the car as I wiped a tear.
Later that day while D was playing with his friend and they were making big plans, I reminded D that he would be at his Dad's the next week - D's friend said "I thought Trey was D's dad" I started to explain and D interrupted with "I have 2 dads and its pretty cool" then they ran off to play.
Blending takes Time
As I look back over the past year, I can compare it to the year my daughter was born, only I am a few years older. Blended families are a lot like natural families - it takes time, work, messed up schedules, lots of grace, an endless pot of coffee, and many hours of prayer.
The new parent to the relationship is much like a new mom or dad - a new baby does not come with a handbook, nor does a half grown child. You have your sleepless nights, the days you want to cry, the days that you are sure you are failing, followed by that big hug and an I love you!