Sunday, July 01, 2007

Stepfamilies: A Road Trip

Forming a stepfamily is like going on a trip from Dallas, Texas to Duluth, Minnesota in April. It seems like it should be easy. Interstate 35 connects the two cities. I mean really, it's just one road, how hard could it be?

Well, there are places where there is road construction and detours. Traffic slows and sometimes stops for what might appear to be no reason at all. Orange and white barrels and orange and black signs might lead you off the interstate for a while.

In Dallas and Forth Worth and then again in near Minneapolis and St. Paul there is a I-35W and I 35E, both of which are part of the interstate, but veer off in different directions. How can you stay on the interstate when the same raod splits into two directions? It can get very confusing while trying to get from point A to point B.

When leaving from Dallas in April, the weather is probably going to be pretty good. When you near Duluth, you might be in a blizzard. Winter is stubborn in Northern Minnesota and might just decide to hang around until April. You might not have your snow boots, hats, gloves, and jackets with you. You came unprepared, but not knowing about the stubbornnes of Duluth's winters, there was no way to prepare in the first place.

In stepfamiliy life, there is going to construction delays as you try to figure out everyone's roles and how those roles are not merely static, but ever changing. There are going to be times when there is confusing adn you will not know which way to turn as a stepfamily. There are things that will happen for which there is absolutely no way you can prepare and you are left flying by the seat of your pants.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to ease up on the expectation for an arrival time and take each "interruption" as an opportunity to learn, grow, and experience another piece of the stepfamily landscape.