When you marry someone with a child, you are getting a packaged deal. You are not only getting a husband or a wife, but a child. That comes with a whole new set of rules. A whole new set of responsibilities. I just wanted to take the opportunity to address some of the things that kind of slapped me upside the head once I said “I Do” to someones’ dad.
1. First Heartbreak: Not the kind of “puppy love” heartbreak. The heartbreak pain caused by a Bios’ broken promise. That first time you see that look on their face, it’ll cut you straight to your heart. Let’s hope you never see it.
2. First Phone Call: *RING RING* Guess who is calling you? Yep, it’s that kid. They didn’t call Mom or Dad, they called you. They just wanted to tell you something special about their day. Even if they don’t use the words “I love you”, they’re telling you now.
3. First Illness/Injury: You may be scared shitless, but there may come a time when you have to accompany them to the doctor, or Lord forbid, the ER. Just you and them. Stay calm. If you can’t, don’t worry because as soon as that little one needs comfort, all bets are off and you’ll be a big puddle of calm mush.
4. Family: Your parents will officially become Grandma and Grandpa. I mean, if they are okay with being old and all. (Sorry, Mom)
5. Warning: You will hear “you’re not my mom” or “you’re not my dad” at some point. At least once. I’m telling you. Even though you are totally aware of this little key factoid they will make it known to you. It will feel like they just socked you straight in the face. How you handle the 5 seconds following that statement is crucial. Regardless of how you feel about the Bios, just keep your trap shut! When Murph hit me with this, (the first and last time he said it) Kim and I were not friends. I knew what I wanted to say. PSH! “I’m glad, kid!” Let’s face it, that mess stung a little. I looked up into my rearview mirror and there was this little strawberry blonde with the cutest angry face I’d ever seen. I just smiled and said “I know but I still love you.” That was that. So like your momma always said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say nothing at all.” Wait… was that my mom or Thumpers’ mom?
6. Do not try to be their best buddy. When the time comes for you to parent, and by parent, I mean discipline, you will just get laughed at. Just trust me on that one.
7. Do not try to assume the roll as parent to quickly. They need to trust you before you go around trying to give ’em a time out.
8. First “Big Success”: You will beam with pride when they get their first hit (that wasn’t off the tee) during a baseball game. Go ahead, be “that mom.” You know the one I’m talking about, the crazy acting lady stomping on the bleachers. (Again, sorry Mom)
9: The Bios: Never assume they are B*s and A*s. In my case, J had a pretty good time playing Kim and I against one another. Everything was going according to plan until I played a card he never dealt me. You can read all about that in a previous post called The BirthGiver . We all laugh about it now. The ultimate plan for us to hate each other forever was an epic fail.
10. There is a line drawn between friend and parent but you get to stand on it.