Summer break is finally here and I am so glad to have all of the kids at home (check with me in a week, I may feel differently?) I have lots planned and I have a "skeleton" schedule of how my day should go, just so I don't waste my summer days being lazy. I'm going to go over the schedule with the kids today so that Monday morning we will all be on track. Good Luck to me!
I hope you all got my email with the MSN video attachment, and I hope that you learned something about yourself and others as you watched it. I don't feel the need to discuss this much but, on a more personal note, I want you to know that my family is like any other. We have "issues" that we deal with that others don't, but likewise, you probably have something in your household that you deal with that your neighbors don't have to. It's not necessarily bad, it's just an "issue". Some families, may have a grandparent that lives with them, some families may only see their extended family once a year. Some may have a child with a disability, some may have a child who sleeps in the bed with mom and dad, some moms are raising their children without a father in the home, etc., etc. None of these are horrible scenarios, they are just issues that others deal with that I don't have to. Jeff and I are raising 4 children, two of them are bi-racial and two of them are white, that's our issue...one of them anyways! Our goal for all our children is to raise them to be educated, confident, independent, God-fearing, humble, successful, happy people. I tell Summer and JD all the time how special they are, I will tell Colton and Sydney the same things as they get older. The color of their skin is not the deciding factor of whether they have happy, successful lives. That happiness depends on how they feel about themselves and how resilient they are.
I would like to pose these questions to those of you who have children...Are you raising your children to feel good about who they are? Are you teaching your children to listen to their own inner voice, or do you encourage them to listen to others voices, to let others decide who they are, to let other people's words have power over their lives? So what if your child only has one parent who is active in their life, so what if your child has a learning disability, so what if they look different from the "norm", so what if they are not enrolled in every activity they want to be in and you don't buy them everything their classmates have, so what if they are adopted. Why should those factors, and many others, cripple your children emotionally? Why do we give the circumstances in our lives power to define who we are?
On the same note, but a little lighter...Wal-Mart is ALWAYS an adventure for me when I take my children in. Usually it's just the chaos of keeping up with everyone, but yesterday as I was going through the check-out, the lovely Wal-Mart associate made a comment that I hear a lot..."Boy, you've got your hands full!" I just politely nodded and then she asked me if I was a foster mom. What? I told her (again politely...against my initial reaction) that they were all mine. As if that explanation wasn't enough, she then makes a really inappropriate facial expression and asks, "Well, how'd that happen?" I simply said..."The oldest 2 are from my first marriage and the youngest 2 are from my second marriage."
I guess because of the uniqueness of my family, I NEVER raise my eyebrows when I see children who don't look like their parents. There are lots of scenarios and I really don't think twice about the hows and whys of blended or multi-racial families, so it shocks me when people ask me questions like that. I really wanted to say, "What do you think happened?"
Please, the next time you see a blended family, think of me and my children before you open your mouth and ask a stupid question. Just think about it silently and see if you can figure it out...if still you can't figure it out just leave it be...it really isn't any of your business to begin with.