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Unmarried With Two Step Children

My sons called me last month, excited to tell me about the new house their father was in the process of buying. This would be his first home, a dream come true for him, the BIG house that every adult wants. When my son sent me the link to view it online, I was overjoyed, thinking back on our first apartment together and how we used to imagine one day being real grown-ups and having a home of our own.

He has made his dream come true while I am still a few steps behind. He's taking great care of my sons who live with him, has an awesome career as an attorney and now has purchased his first home. The only thing missing was a beautiful wife. But then the next time my sons called me, I heard the news.

“Baby, who is that in the background?” I asked after hearing what sounded like a crash.

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“That’s little John.” He’s 5.

“Is that your friend?”

“No, that’s Daddy’s girlfriend’s son. She’s moving with us into the new house, um, they’re moving with us.”

“Your Daddy has a new girlfriend with kids? Does she live with you now?” I pumped him for more information.

“Yes.”

“Wow. Well, do you guys get along?”

“Sometimes,” my 12-year-old informed me. “Sometimes they are a headache.”

I laughed.

My sons always like having people around socializing and creating family. Now they have even more people to love.

Their dad is in another relationship but this time is different. He’s had plenty of women coming in and out of his life and moving in and out of his home. But this time the woman has children, so this time, I feel like I will be somehow connected to them.

I’ll probably never see them. I’ll probably talk to them on the phone and send them small gifts when I send gifts to my sons.

Yet I feel like my family has grown too. So I now ask about little John and little Maya, hear their stories, listen to them tattle tell on my sons and imagine what life must be like for my sons to share their home with new kids.

“Do you consider him to be your brother?” I asked my 14-year-old.

“Yes. If someone asks, I’ll say he is my brother.”

My heart melted. They have a little sister from their dad’s previous relationship so this makes five kids in all. Five kids running around the big house, playing in the pool, fighting and asking for more juice. Five kids to lug to school, help with homework and attend recitals. Five kids to manage and keep in line.

Five kids to love.

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What shocked me the most was the fact that my sons adjusted so easily. One day their dad had a different girlfriend who lived there and the next, it seemed, he had someone new, all moved in with kids in tow, and my sons are like, Welcome to the family! They didn’t act like it was anything out of the ordinary to have extra kids invading their home. In fact, even though they complain about sharing, I think they like it. My sons always like having people around socializing and creating family. Now they have even more people to love.

His family is growing, and I know I’m only looking in from the outside, but I can share in a little bit of that love by pretending that I now have five kids too. And I love them all.

Image via Twenty20/lovephotog823

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