I met the most amazing lady a few years ago who changed my life for the better. It is very rare to find a virtuous woman who loves her man with no limits in spite of his imperfections. She caused the heavens to open in my heart when she said, “I do” and we were married almost 7 months ago. Life has truly been on the fast track ever since that beautiful autumn day when my dear friends and family shared in our new beginnings. When I said I do, I was saying I do to a new wife, daughter, mother-in law and a dog, all whom would now make my house into a home just like Luther Vandross said it would. I was looking forward to loving my Beloved with that sanctified Agape, Phileo and Eros love, day and night, night and day enjoying our new-found journey together as we ride the peaceful and sometime roaring waves of holy matrimony. I have an adult biological daughter who was much like my new daughter in circumstance, where I was the non-custodial parent while my daughter was living with a blended father since age 11. In addition, I have been a blended father figure in my first marriage, 18 years ago (my wife passed and Jose and Simone are my God-given spiritual children to this day) and in other relationships. I consider myself to be veteran in this regard. The blended family is my MO. I was adopted at a very young age and then I found my biological mother many years later. My name in the Bible means “twin,” so I am always rolling with two sets of personalities, perspectives, family upbringings and I sometimes find myself asking the question, “Who am I?” Let me say that I am not perfect and I have made many mistakes. But I believe I am well equipped with life experience, a willingness to learn, and reasonable level of knowledge to flourish as a blended family leader and provider. I have a few tools and resources, but I am always looking for more. But never in the caverns of my mind, nor in the pathways of my grace filled life could I have imagined or been prepared to join my Beloved in our calling to the parenthood of my newest sweetheart of an 11-year-old daughter, adolescent hormone raging, lovable, self-centered, creative, non chore doing, intelligent, underachiever with A+student potential, iPhone obsessive, video game playing, emotional roller coaster riding, beautiful, daily unpredictable peer relationship having, innovative, sassy, sarcastic, truth swaying, short-tempered, God-given piece of heaven who calls me the best dad ever.
If I sound a bit overzealous with this task of parenting a tween in today’s world, trust me, I need to give you a visual and starting place to understand where I am at and my challenges of navigating the slippery slope of parenting blended children. What do you think? Anybody here or been here before? Let the dialogue begin!