Very soon I am going to become part of a blended family.
In a few months, my mother and a very nice man she's known for years will pay a short visit to our church, sign some papers and then head back to her house for a catered dinner and entertainment by an Elvis impersonator. And just like that, we'll be a "family."
We're all grown, so the day-to-day development of this new relationship will be theirs alone. He has two sons and she has two daughters. Fortunately, we will not all be sharing a bathroom, nor will we be starting a band. Also, this leaves out my island-dwelling brother--who lives in paradise and doesn't get any breaks from me.
I have a dear friend who assiduously mentions that her daughter's destination wedding took place in a real Catholic church. Similarly, when speaking of my mother, I have to mention that she and her betrothed are both available due to the second reason a marriage ends (divorce being the first).
Occasionally, I let myself wander into self-pity. This isn't the way things were supposed to end up. It never entered the realm of the possible that I'd ever have a step-father, let alone two step-brothers and a step-sister-in-law (?)
But then I think of all the little girls who never knew their father, or who spent their youth learning to live with a strange man during the week and a strange woman on the weekends. And I feel blessed.
This weekend will mark the first official holiday gathering of this pending family. Maybe we'll all become pals, but for now, we'll at least be polite passers of ham, a footnote to one another's family trees.
And, hey, if we all decide to visit Kings Island, at least it will be a short drive.