The Import of Ice Water

I’ve been reading over my blogs (ok, there are only 4, so not so hard) and I’m realizing that I’ve not spent as much time on the blending part of my life. I’ll be honest, it’s been a tough summer in the blending department. Perhaps it’s that 3 of the 4 kids are teenagers. Or perhaps it’s because blending families, no matter how many years later, is really hard. I mean hard like heart wrenching, head splitting, deafening, stunned “how could what I’ve just innocently done result in THAT?”, I must be the stupidest person in the world, how could I make that same mistake again, hard.

And yet, there are the minor miracles. The small breakthroughs. The minutes where there is full and total equilibrium on that beam. And occasionally, there is even room for quick, breathless, slightly wobbly pirouette. Last Thursday evening, we had one.

Late in the evening one of our children came into the TV room where Pete and I were watching Doc Martin (aside – if you’ve missed this, don’t…). Of course, I love all our children, and I’ve got an special soft spot for this one because she’s struggled with the blending and she is often distant. I just want to wrap her in my arms and assure her everything will be (eventually) ok. But for now it’s a lot of pain and I’m the focal point of that. I never feel more helpless and clueless than when I realize nothing I do can fix the pain and everything I do causes pain. And as a ninja problem solver in the rest of my life, it is humbling, and really really scary.

She was stressed. In fact, the entire household is a little stressed right now with back to school. Three of the four kids have completely new routines, new environments, new friends, new, new, new. And she was panicking. Shallow breathing, chest pounding, sternum aching fear. And at that moment, all I saw was someone who desperately wanted and needed something I could provide – perspective, calm, some light humor and a glass of ice water. After falling of the beam again and again, there I was, nailing the routine. And more importantly, we were nailing it together. And as she unfolded herself from the couch and headed to bed, she thanked me.

Not bad for an amateur. I’ll keep practicing.


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