“Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
I’ve seen it over and over again in my life: when you live with someone, some adjusting and compromising is required for a happy home life. This is true for roommates, newlyweds, brothers and sisters, families and especially, blended families.
If you’re smart, you learn this natural law early and skip some of the strife failing to humble yourself and compromise with those you live with (and love) brings.
However, some accept change more willingly than others. Some adapt to the living arrangements more easily than others. Some seem more willing to compromise than others. And then there are a select few that seem to think if they resist long enough, if they refuse to compromise, said change (ie. life) will not be required!
Boy, wouldn’t that be nice? Like a cocktail party, to be served life on a platter prior to living it? To be able to say, “No thanks, I’ll not have some of that!” or “No thank you, I’ve had enough” or “I don’t want that change, so I don’t have to accept it!” or “I’m full. No more for me!”
Instead, we are blessed with life and change and unexpected lives and situations. Like everything else, though, I believe living together peacefully is a choice. It simply requires patience to wait (and endure) until others in the household choose to accept, adapt, adjust, compromise and settle in.
One day my oldest and I were chatting. He, as the oldest child in our household, has been very helpful and patient in helping younger children settle in to the new family situation. That day he commented on the struggle he observed one child having with some aspects of the blended household. I agreed with his observations and told him I had noticed the same thing but didn’t see any solution other than to continue to cheerfully and patiently endure the transition.
My son laughed and said, “Mom, sometimes I just want to make it easier for them and say, ‘Dude, give it up. You’re never going to win this one.’”
I asked, “What do you mean, ‘win’?”
He explained, “You know, get away with things that are wrong, inappropriate, disrespectful or against the house rules. It’s never going to happen.”
I clarified, “Oh? How do you know?”
He exclaimed, “Because you raised me! Mom, you’re one of THE strongest people I know. It’s a battle that can’t be won. I know, because I tried to ‘break you’ for 18 years and you never once ‘cracked’!”
I wasn’t sure how to take that, but before I could respond he added, “And I’m so glad and grateful you didn’t—because look how awesome I turned out!”
“Awesome: extremely impressive; inspiring great admiration; extremely good; excellent.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Yes, he is. And it only took…18 years. (Just kidding! Children are born “awesome,” they simply increase in “awesomeness” over the years. And if I haven’t said it lately, I’m grateful to be a mother:)