My kids now have significant others in their lives. People I don’t really know, yet. I am trying to be patient and reserved and to pace myself… but I really want to ask them questions, pry beneath their nervous facade, and get into their lives. I’m not, but I really want to.
Well, I think I’m not. Stephanie’s Tyler recently pointed out that months ago, over dinner on the patio, I asked him about his 5-year plan. While I thought the interaction was good, and I was thrilled with this conversation, he confessed to feeling overwhelmed. I’m sure that Brian’s Kaitlin feels the same. She is shy around us and I am always looking for ways to engage. I ask a lot of questions, a lot of questions. Allie’s AJ hasn’t been around enough to have many awkward interactions, but I hope that changes soon.
I don’t mean to, really I don’t. But these others are fascinating to me. I am curious about their families, their hopes, and their dreams. I am interested to know about their lives. If they think I ask a lot of questions, they should hear all the things I do not say!
It’s a lot of pressure! Trying to be neutral, welcoming, open, and friendly wears me out. I know there is a lot at stake. Their comfort and ease in the extended family matters. I hope I don’t screw this up. I want to just interact like I would with anyone… but the space between us seems fraught with a confusing mix of emotions and expectations. They are figuring out their primary relationships with my kids, and we are figuring out how to navigate the new complexity of family life doubled. I do realize that this isn’t about me… but occasionally I want it to be.
So, I am praying about how to create space for relationships to grow naturally. It’s probably best if I don’t have too much alone time with them, you know how I am. Instead, I plan fun outings, we hang out and watch movies, and host family dinner. But I can’t promise that my curiosity won’t get the best of me. Sometimes I catch a warning look and back down. I hope they know, I am trying…
Come on in, can I get you a warm beverage? Where do you see yourself in five years?