REBUILDING

seena fox

'Are you going to marry [him]?'. The words which came out of my son's mouth as I lay next to him tonight surprised me.

'Why do you ask?' I responded.

'Why are you asking me that?' Sage replied. I then asked him if he wanted me to marry my boyfriend. I heard an enthusiastic 'yes' coming from a short distance away as Seena voiced her answer. A few seconds later I looked at my son nodding with approval with his eyes so big and a smile on his face before his answer of 'yes!'.

The two younger children have been introduced to my boyfriend over the past few weeks via Skype in a slow manner. At first it was a brief 'hello'. Later they would walk into my room, seemingly as an excuse, to catch a glance at the person who was responsible for the laughter coming from within. It will be Saffron's turn on Saturday to meet him via Skype when I arrive in Ireland.

Tonight was somewhat different. The children lingered a while longer and expressed their desire to teach him things. Seena wants to teach him how to draw a fox and an owl whilst Sage wants to teach him how to build large puzzles. The fairy puzzle, to be exact - a 1000-piece Ravensburger puzzle entitled 'Sanctuary of Knowledge', with books and tiny fairies throughout and one we have yet to open.

sage 500 puzzle

This talk of marriage came up a few weeks ago when my oldest informed me her father told her I would marry my boyfriend. Although I did mention to him it was serious, I never mentioned marriage nor had a desire at that time to get remarried again. Neither did my boyfriend. And if I did, I would have preferred Saffron to hear it from me first. But that was then and I am sensing the children's desire for a whole family. Perhaps the third time's the charm.

Sage again mentioned tonight his desire to go to Ireland to see him. When I asked my son 'why', he replied 'I told you before'. Before, his answer had to do with having 'two grownups' to be around. He then asked me if my boyfriend has puzzles and toys at his place. He went on to clarify he didn't want a lot of toys. He simply wanted a new puzzle, one he had never seen before.

The discussion tonight, as I lingered longer than usual at their beds, became interesting. Seena went on to list the roles of the members of our blended families. She listed me and her father as her parents, her father's girlfriend as her stepmother, my boyfriend as her stepfather, and the two boys of the girlfriend as her stepbrothers. She inquired as to any children my boyfriend has and I informed her they were already teenagers. She seemed a bit disappointed as she stated she wished they were her age so she could play with them.

I cannot begin to imagine what goes on in the minds of my three children in regards to this rebuilding of families. I tell them they now have more people to love them. I remember coming across an article saying it is better for children to grow up in a home where parents are no longer together than to live with the constant stress of parents fighting and staying solely for the sake of keeping a family together.

Children sense when something is wrong. We as parents are models to our children. As such, if they grow up seeing us constantly fighting, angry, and unhappy then they will believe it is a normal part of life, of relationships. It affects their future ability to form healthy relationships both in personal and business environments. Whilst some couples might wish to stay together for the sake of the children, this decision can come back to haunt them in later years.

I recall a friend telling me a story of someone she knew who stayed together with her husband in an unhappy marriage until the children were old enough. When the children were finally told the truth, they felt betrayed and hurt, having been lied to for all their lives. Sometimes moving on and rebuilding a family into something which brings happiness to the forefront for both parents is much better than living a lie.

I can almost envision the look on my boyfriend's face and hear the ensuing 'what?!' as he reads these words in the morning as part of his daily routine. Words which came directly from my children as they expressed their desire to accept this man into their lives. It warms my soul and touches my heart to see such acceptance towards someone they have not yet met in person. It also gives me hope that they will grow up knowing how to have loving relationships of their own.

december hearth