August 18, 2009

Day 10 Jus Dance- Change

Tonight I slow danced in the kitchen with Michael, I cried as he held me in his arms. He cleared a spot for us, moved the kitchen table and chairs, as I lamented not having not done my commitment for the day on top of everything else.

Things didn’t go so well today. I wish I could say that the blending of our family was smooth like butter, but if I claimed that you would likely know I was lying. Lily is having a hard time with the prospect of being different. Of course the idea that she is the same as any of her classmates is an illusion but I suspect this response sounds like bullshit to a 10 year old. There has been a rash of divorces amongst her classmates parents in the last 2 years, and while she is happy her parents are not getting divorced, it is tempting given that at least she would be “normal”. She loves Kelly, is warming to Michael and is not unhappy with our blended happy family, but the idea of her schoolmates finding out that her family arrangement is different from EVERYONE else's, is tortuous. I don’t know how to make this better, I mean the obvious would be to let go of what I believe about consciously choosing a model of family which I feel is more conducive to ease and lasting stability; reacting and jumping back to status quo in hopes that this will alleviate her discomfort. Then I have to live with the message I have sent to my children that conformity in order to have comfort over choosing ones own path is desirable. When Lily and I spoke about Chris and my relationship I asked if she would prefer we divorced, she said “NO!”. I explained to her that sometimes in life we have to choose between what is easy, and what we really want. She really wants her parent to stay together, and we have never really considered other wise, but doing so with other partners makes Lily different. I hate that my choices make her different than her classmates, that by having parents who believe in not limiting each others experiences, she has to explain that divorce is not a part of her parents having other partners, that we all live together in harmony.

Parents generally want to do everything they can for their kids to have a joyful and easy life, and we all discover at some point that there are some things that we just can’t save them from. I know it will be ok, that my children are, as my friend Kath says, “Brilliant”, that change is hard no matter what, and that change is inevitable. When our family moved here to Nelson it was change, it caused my children to have to adjust, a new baby requires adjustment, divorce definitely requires adjustment, this change of ours just happens to not be a common change, but commonality doesn’t speak to the health of a change. A new diet low in sugar and refined flour is a change which can be difficult, but it is towards health. I believe that moving toward living in community, where the responsibilities don’t fall to just two parents is a change towards a more supportive environment, where needs are more easily met, that said, it is still change and change is hard.

To end this post I want to share this picture with you. This is my husband Chris and his sweet partner Kelly. These two are in love, and a change that involves this much love is not one I am going to forgo just to facilitate the easy way. I am confident that choosing love is the way.


“Who do you love?” is the question in 12 day journal #127


  1. My kids, my dad, my brother, my close friends, even some of my not-so-close friends. Sometimes I love strangers I just happen to run into who make me laugh. I almost always love--even just a teeny bit--people who make me laugh.