My Mom raised me, my brother, and my sister as one unit. My sister (technically) has a different dad than my brother and I, but it meant nothing to us at all.
I don’t recall a time that my Mom ever (ever, ever!) distinguished us in that way. We were full siblings and that was the end of it.
Even if someone pressed me, and knew Lindsay had a different dad, I stood firm that we were full sisters. Stubbornly.
The loyalty the three of us have runs very deep, and I know all of us would be insulted if anyone ever called us out on our “whole sibling” status.
Which brings me to my family.
I sit here looking at Avery and Claire (Cade was off with a friend and Grace was with her Mom) and I see my babies.
I don’t see division lines. Not for a second do I accept them as “half-siblings.” Caeden and Claire are not in one camp while Avery is in another.
And if I do anything right as a Mom, it’s that they know I have their back, and when I am gone, they better have each others’.
Brother and Sister.
For me, there is nothing diluted or technical to debate.
Which also brings up an interesting scenario with Grace.
I will tell you right now, a goal of mine was to swoop up Grace into our family and make her feel as loved as c2 and avery.
I now know it isn’t up to me, but up to her. I keep the door open and I smile big when I see her approach it, but I try not to be disappointed when she doesn’t walk through.
Time takes time.
And a lot is out of my control (Rylan is teaching me this).
A very hard lesson for me to learn has been that my job is to love her and care for her, but she doesn’t need me to be a ‘mom.’
If you are a step-parent to a child with very involved and loving parents, you know what I mean. They don’t need you as much.
Which has been very hard for me to get used to. Probably the biggest obstacle for me in regards to having a blended family.
She has a great mom with whom she is very close to, so she very much feels the difference in families, especially since she goes back and forth. Whereas, obviously, Caeden and Claire don’t.
So yes, Grace is a step-sibling to c2. And if she ever calls Avery her “half” brother, it will break my heart into a million pieces.
However, Claire wouldn’t even know what you were talking about. Grace is just her “sister.”
And Caeden would be mad if anyone labeled Grace as his step-sister. He does know the difference, but he too, chooses to be inclusive, which I love, love, love about my kids.
All of this rambling to say, I stared at this picture this morning, and thought of how very lucky Avery is to have Claire. Caeden. Grace.
And I really hope to parent them in a way to show them that, just as when I grew up, “half and step” are words that do not belong in a sentence with brother and sister.