“I replaced the headlights in my car with strobe lights, so it looks like I’m the only one moving.” (Stephen Wright)
I realized the other day that I’ve moved children in and out of the same bedroom three times in the same year. No wonder it feels like I’m the only one moving, or moving a lot, these days!
First, it was my middle son. Who got moved out so my husband’s son could move in with us. I know the move was hard on my son, especially after losing and moving from the only home and bedroom he’d ever known for almost 10 years, to a new home and bedroom in a new state, and then less than two years later being moved out of his bedroom once again. Compared to how some children would react in his situation, I admire my son for his good attitude and his willingness to sacrifice for someone else and for the good of the family. My husband hoped that a new dad in the house, a dad who would focus on the needs of “the one” (in this case, my son) would compensate for the necessary move. I think that has more than been the case. My son is better and happier than ever, although occasionally he wistfully reminisces about how much he liked that room! And his younger brother, my youngest, is already begging to be the next child to live in that room. It’s a popular room, I guess.
Then we moved my stepson in. The new occupant of the bedroom, almost 13 years old at the time but looking and acting a lot older than that in many ways, went from basically being an only child (his siblings hadn’t lived with him for several years) in a quiet bachelor pad with his dad, this son pretty much the center of his father’s universe, to one of now five children in a busy, loud home that, compared to the way he was raised, was an entirely different world and culture (I’ve said it before, and it’s true: different mothers=different family cultures, different values, different rules, different everything in our case). Poor kid. He lasted six months and went to live with his mother who had moved a few blocks away from us. (But that is another blog post in itself that will never be written! Lol. Lets just say while it is convenient for the child, I’m a woman who prefers boundaries and would never have chosen, had I had any input in the matter, to move that close to a former spouse or to have an ex-wife move that close to me. Just another of those remarriage “moments” my husband and I shake our heads and laugh about!)
The room was in limbo for a few months and then, lo and behold, my husband’s daughter was struggling where she was and needed a place to live. That bedroom of rotating occupants was available and just the thing. I gathered the last of the stepson’s personal items, moved them out, and got the room ready for his sister to move in. But that isn’t all I did.
I had learned a few things in that first year of marriage, remarriage, “blending” families, stepchildren, etc… Things were going to be different this time around. Before another child moved in, there was going to be an agreement made between the parents. ALL of the parents. And it was going to include, for the first time, the mother of the home the child would be living in. The stepmother. (Boo! Hiss!) Little wicked, little evil, little mean and nasty old me.
“Her evil stepmother is trying to get her married off to the Prince of West Muffin Land. Cinder is very unhappy, but according to the tale, her Fairy Godmother arrives to save the day.” (Ed Balthazar)