It is to be hoped that we are never too old to learn. That our minds, our hearts, and our souls will remain open to new ideas, new methods, new concepts. That we can embrace that which is different, new, or even unpleasant to us with objectivity, grace, and dignity.
That we can allow for a second chance - especially where people are concerned. Especially where our *family* is concerned.
These concepts, these ideas, should be hallmarks for us as thinking, rational, intelligent adult humans.
I am trying. Lord knows, I am trying.
My Mother has expressed some concern regarding my blogging. She has asked me to either remove, or edit, any posts that are obviously antagonistic towards her husband, my stepfather.
I don't mind telling you that initially, I was a bit miffed.
What sprang first to my mind was the idea that I would have to edit (heavily edit) this blog. I worried that I might be compromising my "integrity" as a blogger.
As the afternoon progressed, and my Mom and I continued to talk about it, I began to understand her request. I listened to her point of view, and I realized that what she was saying was simple: It was time for me (and The Wrench as well) to try and accept her husband as he is. Warts (metaphorically speaking) and all. And that as long as I continued to hold negative feelings about him - in Real Life, or in my blog - I would not be able to truly accept him for who he is.
It has been 13 years since they were married; it has been almost exactly 16 years since we lost my Dad.
I have actively resisted *liking* this person, my Stepfather, for nearly the whole time. I have viewed him with distrust, suspicion, and a strong dose of resentment. I have been acting like a child who has suddenly had an unwanted sibling thrust upon them; hoping against hope that he will just disappear.
Mom is right. While it is true that it is not incumbent upon me to like my Stepfather, it *is* important for me to treat him, and their marriage with respect. I do not have to become his best friend, or confidante, however I should strive to treat him as I would want to be treated.
To that end, I will be editing this blog.
You'll notice that (for a while, at least) some posts will likely be "missing", while I go back and review them.
I have no intention of sugar-coating reality.
But if I am to give my Stepfather the benefit of the doubt, I have to change the way I think about him, talk about him, write about him. I have to (try) and remove the negativity and the prejudice. I have to try and remember that he does love my mother to distraction, and he tries hard to take good care of her. That he adores our daughter, and thinks of her as his own grandchild. That he is, at heart, a good person.
For my Mother, I will do this.
That's just how much I love you, Mom.
update - I have edited the blog, and returned the posts that have been "in limbo". The story remains the same, but I have changed the way I reference my Stepfather.