One afternoon as I was driving with my little boy, suddenly he piped up from the backseat:
“Hey Mom. We have different last names, right? So which one of us isn’t part of the family? You or me?”
The question hit me like a ton of bricks.
I explained that of course we are both part of the same family! Our last names have nothing to do with it! He grew inside my body, and nothing will ever change that!
He seemed somewhat satisfied with my answer … but I know he is a deep thinker. And I know he still wonders about it sometimes.
Are we one family?
Married, Divorced, Blended
One thing is certain: Having a blended family is waaaaaaay more complicated than I thought it would be … in so many ways.
Both my husband and I have been married before. And now my ex and I are both remarried.
So, for us “blended” means: biological parents, biological kids, step-parents, step-kids on all sides, tons of extended family, some really cute dogs (which, according to my kids, are also considered adopted siblings), and a partridge in a pear tree.
You know, having a family identity once seemed simple and obvious.
Some families put a portrait over the mantle … but we are lucky to have everyone in town at the same time, much less get a picture together.
Some families display their initial or surname, like “B” or “Brown” … but we have several last names in the mix.
Capturing our family identity is a little more complicated.
But after some brainstorming, I think I’m on the right track.
Our Family Display
I’ve cleared a wall in the family room. I’m not sure how I’m going to use it yet, but I know the theme will be “Blended With Love.”
My first thought was to gather pictures. Remember the crib mattress spring I used for our summer kick-off party? I might re-use that somehow for a collage.
I also asked each family member for their favorite color. I would LOVE to tie these together in a piece of artwork, but I’m not sure what medium to use. Also, I’m not really an “artist.” I just like to play around.
Paint would be amazing for the “Blended With Love” theme. But I admit I’m a little intimidated.
Truthfully … I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and I worry that my creation might turn out to be a disaster.
Today I went to the store and just stood there staring at the blank canvases and rainbow of acrylics. But I couldn’t bring myself to buy anything. Not yet anyway.
However, I just saw this amazing video from my sister-friend Nora, and I was inspired to tackle my project all over again. (You might need access to Facebook for the link to work OR you can link here and click on the “Preview” button to watch the video.)
Nora is currently teaching an online art therapy class with Bloom, an organization that helps wives/partners of addicts work through betrayal trauma.
In her description she says, “Not everything that needs to be said can be spoken. This class will give you a blank slate. It’s not about art technique or the end result. Perfection is not the goal. It’s about stretching yourself …”
I love it when she says not everything that needs to be said can be spoken. That’s exactly how I feel about this project. I want to create something to communicate to my kids that WE ARE ALL ONE FAMILY, blended with love. But I want to do it in a way that will move them and touch them every day when they see it.
Remember string art in elementary school? Did you ever do one of those for the science/math fair? I’ve also considered this medium and sketched some ideas on graph paper. Easy? Yep. Perfectionist friendly? Yep. Not sure if it’s what I’m looking for though.
I guess I’ll just keep drawing and sketching until I have an “aha” moment.
I love playing with everyone’s colors though. They complement each other so well. And it’s actually been really therapeutic. I love the idea of the colors working together … just like our family works together.
What about you? Do you know any awesome blended families? Are you part of a blended family? How do you go about creating a solid family identity?
3 thoughts on ““Blended With Love””
[…] … my first attempt at the “Blended Family” project […]
[…] may not have a gold medal and I might not sprout wings, but I have a family. It’s a blended family. And it’s a work in progress. But it’s still worth fighting […]
[…] felt tense today as I navigated a million whiny moments of transition in the name of our blended family. The kids are back, and it always takes a few weeks to get back in the groove of course. Mostly […]