It seems that ever since we had Reese, people have started asking if we plan on having more kids. It’s been a huge topic of conversation for Darren and I, and we have decided that we are quite content with our baby girl and his three kids. We have a perfect family of two boys and two girls. Three of the four children may not be biologically mine, however when they are at our house, everyone is treated the same. Plus with extra curricular activities every night of the week, we simply do not have the time and resources (or sanity) to have another baby.
But when we tell people we are only going to have one, I am always asked, “you’re only going to have one?” “are you sure you’re going to be okay with that”, as if I am sacrificing or giving up having my “own” family.
Last weekend it was the icing on the cake when someone told us they believed we should have another child because Reese deserves a sibling.
Ummmm, back that truck up… did you miss the two little boys and the long legged almost teenager walking around here? This kid has more siblings than the average.
That comment brought me back to the day we told the kids that we were having a baby. We wrote a letter from the baby to the kids, with a picture of the ultrasound. Everyone was excited about the news and the kids were so pumped to have a new baby in the family. They went to their mom’s that night, where I am assuming they learned some new terminology. Later on I took a look at my step-daughters instragam. My heart lit up when I saw she posted a pic of the ultrasound. My stomach then sank when I saw the comment “my soon to be half baby brother or sister”. Half?
Families are much more complicated than they used to be. Blended families are more and more common. And technically, she was right when she said “half”. There are “half” and “step” siblings. But nothing hurts me more than when I hear people refer to Reese as a half sibling. It’s as if the three of them are a group and she is an outsider.
I was having drinks with some girls last night and this topic came up. One of them said her step-father used to respond to the label “half sister” by saying “I don’t see any half people here!” Amen to that!
In this house, we are all a family. Throwing out the labels of half and step insinuates that there is a difference between us – that there is a difference between Reese and my step-children. There is no difference. Everyone is treated the same. They are my family, my people, my kids, regardless of how we got here. They have a biological mother, and may have new siblings sooner or later, but that doesn’t change the family unit that we have when they are spending time with us. So when people ask me if I am okay with just having one, I remind them that I actually have four.