Family, Thing 1

No steps here.

I have the privilege of attending a brunch today, prepared, hosted, and served by a bunch of 7th graders at LilZ’s school. Each Teen Living class (his school’s version of Home Ec) has a day where they cook for their families, and today is LilZ’s day. I’m excited, but also a tad bit scared.

MrZ, his mom, and I will all be attending. When LilZ brought the invitation home, I filled it out for MrZ and I. He then asked if we could invite MrZ’s mom too, since he was allowed 3 spots. We did and she accepted. To the average person, this would not seem that exciting, but it’s one of the many awesome small things in my life that remind me how lucky we are.

Obviously, since MrZ is his step-dad, Mimi is LilZ’s step-grandmother. However, you would never know that from the outside. To our family, the closeness LilZ feels to MrZ’s family is nothing exciting, but to outsiders? I’m always hearing comments like, “That is so cool that they are all so close.” I guess there are step-families that aren’t as welcoming as MrZ’s family has been. Or maybe kids who don’t embrace their step-families as much as LilZ has. Either way – we are all very close and the question of blood relation never comes into play.

So, today the world will just see LilZ and his Grandma. But to me, it means so much more. LilZ has so much family that loves him that there are times that I feel like he is almost spoiled with love. Some kids don’t ever know their grandparents and here LilZ gets the privilege of having awesome grandparents in three different directions. They all dote and brag on him and he spends times with all of them as much as possible. But he’s the most lucky to have two grandparents here in town who have never thought of him as anything less than their grandson, even though he became that officially four years ago. I know there are step-families out there who struggle with those type of relationships and definitions daily, and I feel blessed that it’s never been a problem for us.

And it’s also a positive female influence in LilZ’s life that demonstrates that some women actually know how to cook more than frozen lasagna! And it tastes good! If he had only me here, he’d be screwed.

22 thoughts on “No steps here.”

  1. My parents are like that with my brother’s step daughters. We all are. We love those girls like crazy. I can’t imagine them not being in our family.

  2. yes he is very lucky. It is really good to have a close family. I only know my grandma on my mom’s side. her husband is my grandfather (my mom’s stepdad) My father’s parents passed away either before I was born or shortly after and I don’t remember much.

  3. You’re all very lucky. I wouldn’t say he was spoiled, I would say he is blessed to have you and his grandma.

  4. Yay for “a-typical” families! I’m so glad this is true for you all. For some, there’s so much tension that that kind of love seems impossible.
    It’s wonderful that that isn’t true in LilZ’s case. The kind of love he’s blessed with (and your whole family is blessed with) is such a beautiful thing πŸ™‚

  5. Your family sounds awesome. πŸ™‚ I feel the same way about my brother. He’s adopted but I’ve never had a moment in my life where I didn’t think of him as my blood. I’d probably actually get in a fight with someone if they tried to say he wasn’t … weird, huh?

  6. And I get the family thing. I am truly lucky to have an extended family who love my children as if they were their own flesh and blood.

    I believe family is not always what you were born into, sometimes it’s what you make it.

  7. My grandparents (dad’s parents) divorced just a year before I was born. Both eventually remarried. My grandma’s new husband treated my brother and cousins and I as if we’d been his all along, and I was ten years old by the time they got married. My grandpa got married immediately after I was born and his wife really never took to any of us. In fact, we never really saw much of my grandfather because both of them were always doing things with *her* grandkids, whereas my grandma and her husband often did things with both of their grandkids all at once (who says we can’t all be one family now, right?)

    It’s a different situation than yours, but I think it still demonstrates how you just never know how things will turn out with a step-family until you put it together. I love my grandfather, but I’m so thankful for my grandmother and her husband.

  8. I’ve got some jumbled up family like that too. My dad is what many outsiders would consider my step-dad (but he adopted me way back when, so actually is technically my dad), and his entire family treats me exactly like they treat my brother and cousins, who are all biologically related to them. And, like LilZ and NikkiZ, I never, ever consider my brother only a “half” sibling… he’s my brother, his dad’s my dad, and that’s that.

  9. It really is huge. I, too, am a child of divorced parents and there are many steps involved as my dad’s parents were also divorced. As a child, I had 10 grandparents — more steps than those I was actually biologically related to! And yet my stepfather’s parents and my mom’s parents are the ones I was closest to — I met my stepfather’s family when I was nearly 6. My brother is not so close to any of the “steps” at all. He is now married to a woman who had a daughter in her first marriage…and I love my niece (LilZ’s age…we met her when she was in kindergarten). But it’s not the same for her. She likes us…there is love there…but not that same connection.

    I feel like I’m always telling you something you already know — how very truly lucky you are and how wonderful your kids are, both by their very nature and the way in which you raised them.

  10. That is v. v. cool.

    My grandpa is technically my step-grandpa, since he was my dad’s step-dad (my dad’s bio dad died when my dad was a baby). Also, my step-mom’s parents have been nothing but totally awesome to my sister and I. Divorce does not have to be horrible. Stories like yours are just another example of why not. πŸ™‚

    Bloodlines do not equal love.

  11. I know precisely how you feel about this. My big son’s father is not my husband, but his step-family is like heaven to him. He is so lucky (and so are we) that there are so many people in the world that love him almost as much as we do.

    LittleZ sounds to be just as blessed as my Benny is.

  12. My sister met her husband when his son was 10 but it seems like he has always been in our lives. He is my nephew just like his half brother. My parents treat him the same as their other grandkids. He is 22 now…where did the time go?

  13. What a fantastic story. And good for your family for redefining what family is for you all. It’s not just blood & marriage.

  14. I LOVE my Stepdad, Stepmom and their respective families. There’s nothing better than having a bunch of crazy extended family members to love you and your children! LilZ’s a lucky kid!

  15. I wish it were that way with my stepdaughter and my parents. They try, but I think the idea of a “step” anything is so foreign to them. Plus, they have my brother’s five kids right around the corner from them.

    They forgot her birthday this year. It broke my heart.

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