So despite my use of them for tagging and clarification purposes, I really do fucking despise all these labels. With a passion, and I always have. I grew up in a blended family and I hated when people would point out that my sister was in fact, my ” half-sister.” When I was a kid that shit would make me cry. PSA, don’t do that shit to my babies, because I’ll throat punch you. We are just family here. In this blog, for obvious clarification purposes, I use these labels, but I cringe a bit every time I say them. Inside of our home, in our day to day lives, we do not do the step/half/bonus thing. These are just our kids, and they are just brothers and sisters. Let me tell you why.
I know how it feels
Like shit. It feels like shit. I only have one sibling, a sister, Angie. She is 4 years older than me. When we were kids, I loved following her everywhere and I hated when she would go to her dad’s and “leave me alone.” We are just like any other normal pair of sisters. That’s what we are, SISTERS. Now, yes, we were a blended family and biologically we only share a mother and have different fathers, but that has zero bearing on our bond or our relationship. Biology isn’t what defines family, love is. She is my sister, 100%. I would take a bullet for her.
I hated when people would point out that she was “only my half-sister.” It felt dismissive. It was like they were telling me she was somehow less than my big sissy. My sister’s stepmom used to love to do that shit. She was the type of stepmom you don’t want to be like. Looking back, I wish I would have told her to shut her miserable pie hole. I’ll be damned if someone does that to my babies. Those are their sisters, their brothers, and they happen to love each other with their WHOLE hearts 100% of the time. Aint no steps or half’s about it. Every time I have to use one of those labels to define my blended family, I feel as though I am discrediting it somehow.
They don’t see it that way
It’s not like its some sort of rule we decided to enforce with the kids. It was just something that happened naturally. Isn’t it interesting to see what happens when you let kids love without restriction? They just love, period. When Mason was born, we discussed what the definition of a half-sibling was. we talked about how they each shared 1 parent with him. I explained to them all that it was the same as me and my sister. Yet not a single one of them call Mason or Marleigh their “half” sister or brother. To them, that is just their little sister and their little brother. I hear my son and daughter talking to their friends all the time and they never say half or step, they just say brother or sister. Lilly will tell you that she has 7 siblings between both houses. She doesn’t say, I have one brother, two half-siblings and 4 step-siblings. I’ve always let the kids take the lead on that one. They don’t feel the need to differentiate with labels, so why should anyone else?
My daughter Merideth, who we like to call Farkle, was a few months shy of 2 years old when my husband and I got together. She is now 9 and has no real memory of her life before any of these people. For as long as she can remember Lilly and Logan have been around. That means her very earliest memories involve them. Those are her siblings and she loves them all the same. If you try and tell her any differently, she will probably try and fight you. Good luck with that.
The love is the same
Like I always tell these kids, you will always have each other. It’s such a cliche, right? Thing is, life gets really hard sometimes. Often, it’s our family, our siblings, in particular, we lean on the most. I realized these past 2 years just how true that is. In December of 2017 my grandmother, my person passed away. In the last weeks before her death, my sister and I took care of her in-home until her last breath. Three months later, our father passed away, in-home, under our care as well. Do you think it mattered to either one of us that it wasn’t her “biological” grandma or dad? Fuck no. That was just as much her grams and just as much her dad as they were mine. I needed her then more than I’ve ever needed another human being. We needed each other. Not a single person on the planet could have understood the other one in those moments the way we did. The way that sisters do, the way that siblings do. That bond is unlike any other and doesn’t recognize step or half. I am so blessed that this blended family has given our children have that system of support in such abundance.
Our Lilly got her heart broke for the first time last year. Immediately, Lucas was ready to cut a muthafahker. It didn’t matter that she is technically his stepsister or that the boy was a few years older than him. It was just classic, “Don’t fuck with my sister,” brother mentality. The love is the same, the bond is the same, even if the faces or last names don’t match.