I have always been a person who truly believed that jealousy is a wasted emotion. There's nothing in this world worth being jealous of because, someone, somewhere can be jealous of you and what you have. Sure, there are things in this life that I would like to have (top of the list: Susan Tedeschi's singing voice), or own (Berkshire Hathaway stock purchased in 1967), or be (on a permanent vacation). But when I look around and see what I DO have, that little green monster inside dies in an overdose of gratitude. Even when I remember that Dave Grohl is married and not to me.
Since becoming a step-parent almost 9 years ago, I have learned that I
can be jealous and no amount of gratitude can change it. What I am
jealous of is normal co-parenting relationships. Exes that can iron out
differences; step-parents that chip in to the efforts of child rearing
without fear of confrontation from the biological parents; kids that
don't have to see the people they love in constant conflict or feel the
animosity at every possible event their parents and step-parents attend.
Blended families that can function, even at a very basic level, are
something I envy. It is the biggest, baddest, most ferocious green
monster I have ever come across. It's about the size of the National
Debt and twice as ridiculous.
The ridiculousness comes from the fact that there is no
blended family ANYWHERE, no matter what the circumstances, that should
NOT be able to function at that basic level IF they could put the
children first. It is the adults in the situation that have that
control and being adults, they should be able to act like one. At all
times. No matter what. Divorces and break-ups are not usually happy, fun
times. I get it. I've been through both. No one is doing cartwheels
through the division of property or friends or their breaking hearts.
But I always knew that my child deserved a parent that could move past
the adult difficulties to do my job for them. It wasn't always easy and
a lot of smiles were as fake as a cubic zirconium engagement ring, but
it is what you do. It should be a reflex, like ducking through a small
door or flinching when a bee flies around your face.
It should be a reflex, innate and instinctive. Dear God, it should be.
(to be continued...)