Every blended family starts out with hopes and dreams of forming a perfect unit. Parents see a golden chance to make up for a failed past; kids just want a secure, loving home. A few (rare) blended families come together naturally and fluidly. They’re both the exception and they’re exceptionally lucky. The rest of us have to work at it.
Luce was a six-year old with a little, turned-up nose and energy to spare when I met her dad, Ben. I had a four-year old son and we both had custody of our kids. Right from the start, Luce and I had trouble getting into sync. There was no evil child or wicked stepmother. We just didn’t understand each other. She probably hoped that I could fill a small part of the hole left by her absent mother. And I brought my preconceived notions of parenting a little girl and of the person that little girl should be to the mix. We set the bar pretty high for each other.
Today, she’s 32 and we’re very different but long ago learned to celebrate our differences. To her great credit, a lot of that is because she always stayed true to herself. Even as a little girl, she stuck to her guns and her beliefs. For example, she refused to wear pink – purple maybe – but never, ever pink. And dresses? Let’s not even go there. One day, I decided to try a new tack. When she was about 11, I went shopping to buy her a winter hat and scarf. I bought the set I thought was the ugliest one in the store because I was sure she’d love it. She did and we both thought that was hysterical.
Applying that outlook to her bigger life choices was harder. After
high school, she spent a few years trying to decide what to do. She kept an open mind and wasn’t afraid to try things. In her search, she took a cabinet-making course, a bartending class and she tried communications and liberal arts in college. Eventually, she found her way and graduated from university with an arts degree. I was happy for her but concerned about how she could make a living. Being the pragmatic, practical person that I am, I kept asking “Yes, but what kind of job can you find with that degree?”
I still didn’t get it. I was trying to measure her future happiness and success using my ruler. Luce is an artist and a free spirit in her heart and in her soul. Where that comes from, I don’t know because her dad’s an accountant and I’m in communications. We live in the suburbs and like stability and security and that’s what we tried to give our kids. But that doesn’t mean they have to value the same things when they grow up.
In contrast, Luce is a city girl. I think she’s moved every year for the last 10 years. She has very little attachment to material things and for the longest time didn’t own any major appliance like a fridge, stove, washer or dryer. She never learned to drive and gets around on her bike in the summer and public transit in the winter. She’s got the androgynous look going for her that lets you know she’s artistic even before you meet her. (Is that stereotyping? Maybe, but if it’s true, what does it matter?) And she’s happy with all of that, so it’s just fine. She’s also kind, generous and almost always in a good mood and those are the things that really count.
I think I’ve rubbed off on her a little bit, though. She loves the rituals I used to create around holidays or birthdays. She’s often the one to call me and ask “So, what are we doing for Christmas (or Father’s Day or any holiday). I guess I better start thinking about what we’ll do for Easter.
Cause that’s close to her heart:
Animal welfare, I am very sensitive about any animal causes weather it’s elephants in Thailand chained for tourists attraction or zoo animals or animals in shelter or treatments to animals in livestock all the way to the slaughter houses.
I find it heartbreaking that animals (who don’t have a voice) are treated like objects, even if it was proven that they are in fact sensitive being with emotions and should be have better protection and be more respected.
It breaks my heart every time I hear or witness any kind or torture or mad treatment directed to them. It is probably a good reason why I am so drawn to the vegetarian culture.
Doing something I don’t like for the rest of my life, I’m always scared of missing out on something else. It’s sometime holds me from doing something in the first place. There are so many things I’d want to do in my lifetime that if freezes me and sometime I don’t even start by fear of failure. I would like to trust myself more and and dive into the unknown, even if it doesn’t work out at least I would of given it a shot. I’m working on that.
Watching a lot of TV series and movies, I love all moving pictures. I studied video making, I guess it comes with it. It has a tendency to make me lazy and the more I watch the more I want to watch. I don’t mind this state I get into, but people around me might see it as me just being lazy, I see it as an educative exercise.
What makes her laugh:
Videos and animated cats doing funny cat stuff like knocking over kids who bullied them. I see it as pay back for cats. I think cats are my favorite pets.
Someone who tells you how to do your job when they have absolutely no idea on what you really do. Also Ignorant people (Which is about the same as previous).