So, getting back to the discussion that our oldest was having with our 5 year old, she was explaining that they have different Dads and the same Mom and that she calls me “Jason” because of that. I think she may have mentioned that they are “half sisters” at some point in the convo but I’m not 100% sure. Later the younger one asked me “Dad, why does my sister call you Jason?” and at this point I knew I had to draw her a map. Using simple circles I whipped up a diagram and showed her how it all works. She asked me about Moms, Grandmas as Dads along with Step Dads and why we call these people these things. I explained to her that no matter what the label is they are who they are to you and that’s all that matters. It got me thinking, I almost NEVER call the older 2 kids my Step Kids. To be honest I still think some people think that I had a kid with Jen when I was 17 unless they took the time out to asked me about it.
All of this talk about labeling in our family structure got me thinking even more, does it really matter? You see, when I was in Middle School going into High School my Mom was married to a Latin American man who had 2 kids that came to live with us. They were 1 and 2 years older than I was (my Brother is 5 years younger than I) and they were going into High School. Since I’m white and they were Hispanic it was pretty safe to assume when I said “This is my brother” they knew something was amiss and I’d imagine they assumed that we were not blood related. With my Mom being married to their Dad came the fact that we now had quite a few cousins and other family members from his side of the family. Since I come from a small family myself we just adopted them as our own as far as we were concerned. I was always taught that family is what you make of it, labels don’t matter and they are to you whatever you think they are to you and that’s all that matters. With all that said, does it matter? To me it doesn’t and I try to show that to my own kids by treating them as if they are my own, because they are… and that’s all that matters.
Tell me about your family dynamic I want to know about labels, how you dealt with them and does it really matter? What makes you, you? Is a relationship defined by a label? Do you treat someone different because of this? Do they treat you different? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.