My blended family is not an overnight success. Eric-the-stepfather has been obliged to cram into three years the parenting basics you non-blended families have had the entire length of your childrens' lives to form: united fronts, love through failures, consistent discipline, mosquito-laden childrens' sporting events, and exhausting evenings at Dave and Busters. The problem with the Immersion Parenting program for Eric is that, as we all know, the "instant gratification" of parenting comes, like, twice a year. Add that up and that is less than a week of positive confirmation from Jake that Eric is doing an adequate job. Sometimes he feels underappreciated. Welcome to my world.
This morning required a permission slip for Jake to attend a field trip, along with $10.35. I couldn't locate my checkbook, so we had to gather the correct money in actual cash. I, being the tightwad that I am, would not send in a ten-dollar bill and two quarters, so we rushed around looking for exact change. All with a baby that no longer is satisfied being held, a dog that looks for any opportunity to run around herding us into the laundry room, and a husband that was due at an early-morning meeting. We accomplished the change procurement--hopefully the school will actually appreciate having pennies on hand--with a great deal of laughter and chaos. After loading Jake in the car, and running back into the house for necessities like keys, my purse, and Nuber The Bear, we set off for school. Eric kissed me before we drove off, and said, "Hey, Jay and I got you and Nikki Aerosmith tickets for November." Finding out you're going to be 500 feet from Steven Tyler over morning coffee is such a bonus.
Jake was quiet until we were halfway to school. "Man," he said, shaking his head. "I really am loving this family we're putting together."
Me too, Jake.