Today's post is inspired by Mama Kat: Tell us about something new you learned last month.
On Halloween, we gathered at Ruth's house for chili, hot dogs, and cheesecake.
WHAT I LEARNED FROM SETH:
"Grandma, you're not Mommy's mom. You're her stepmother. And you're my step-grandmother. Grandpa got divorced from Mommy's mom" (reason redacted). "And then he married YOU."
Yep, he had the facts straight.
His telling of the history of my place in the family left me feeling LESS THAN. Diminished. I had the feeling that I lost status in the pecking order of the family as he (accurately) added the "step" designation before Grandma. Until then, I'd always been Grandma Kim. I felt like I got demoted; like I was no longer on the starting team, but was brought in from the bench as a substitute. I was at a loss for words as how to respond.
Seth was born in May, and I arrived on the scene in June. I've watched him grow and learn, and love spending time discussing things with him (as he is very smart, and is eager to share his knowledge). Although he said he wants to be "just like Daddy" when he grows up, he'd make a great lawyer - Seth can debate like nobody's business, always figuring out what the best angle to take. He is a great big brother to Russell and baby Beatrix. His one annoying flaw? The kid cheats at checkers. Never play checkers with him. Not ever.
After dinner, the grandkids (and the eternal child, The Boy) got ready to go trick or treating. As I sat and watched the costumed children knock on the door and call out "Trick or Treat", in my head, I was figuring out how I should have responded to Seth.
WHAT I WISHED I HAD SAID:
He has no idea how blessed I feel to have been here to see his life unfold, or how lucky I am to have entered into a family where I have felt welcome and accepted.
Although I knew that I was getting The Mister in this matrimonial deal, the gifts of affection, love, tolerance and inclusion that I have received from the entire family have been a tremendous blessing and have added such richness to my life.
I know I'm just a "step" (fill in the blank) - the thing is, they've never let me feel like I wasn't a part of the family chaos from the very beginning. I am not their mother - they already have a mother. I had the luxury of being a friend.
I am lucky and grateful and crazy about every one of them, whether they call me Mom, Kim, Grandma Kim, Step-Grandma Kim, or Hey, You.
WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE:
Most people are lucky if they have children - but I'm doubly blessed - in this marital "package deal", I gained three adult daughters who allowed me into their lives and into the lives of their families without reservation. I have three adult stepdaughters ('step' used only to indicate that I did not give birth to them) - and their spouses, and EIGHT grandchildren added to the package I arrived with.
The gifts I've received keep coming, and our relationships become more deep and rewarding with each passing year.
I've doubled the number of children to love (from three to six), and had an 80% increase in grandchildren to spoil over the past seven years, for a grand total of 10 perfect grandchildren.
If that's not a good return on this investment, I don't know what is.
You should all be so blessed.