The other day I was driving a friend to downtown Winnipeg. He started talking about my Granddaughter. His brother is the dad of our granddaughter. Our granddaughter is from our oldest daughter. I told my friend, "yeah the baby is awesome and we are so lucky to have her". Our baby girl is four and we have been raising her since she has been a month old. My friend said it was great for me to have her especially since she was from my blood. I didn't like that but I didn't respond. I just told my wife this about baby being my blood and boy was my wife upset and I don't blame her. She doesn't believe that kind of distinction. It is a hurtful thing to say even if people don't intend it to be disrespectful. It is like saying our love is limited to our DNA.
My wife and I have a blended family. I have two children from a previous relationship and my moral compass, my hero, my best friend and wife has a child from a previous relationship as well. We also have a child together; she is our youngest child. Our children are grown up now and we have three grandchildren. Our oldest boy has two kids and our oldest daughter has one. The grand children are ours regardless. We became a couple when our children were young. Of course it was an adjustment. There was some real good times and some rough times. The rough times on account of my insecurity and immature jealousy. It took some time, some patience on my Wife's part and some growing up on my part. We did make it. It was not without some struggle to start with. Now our blended family is no longer blended; our family is just our family. There is no "your kid" or "my kid" going on. Although now we may tease about the kids.
The other day I stopped to pick up a parcel that was from the pre-school fundraiser. The Woman handling the fundraiser was very nice. There was an older gentlemen with her as well. I shook his hand and he introduced himself and he told me he was the step-father of the woman. It was interesting. I remembered what my Mom wrote on her death bed. My Mom was really sick with cancer and was dictating to her sister her wishes. In her death letter she talked about her siblings. She said he oldest brother was her brother and there was no such thing as step-brother. My Uncle Louis was her oldest brother. My Grandfather's first wife died and he remarried. His son Louis was with his first wife. To my Aunties and Uncles he was their brother and that is that.
As a young guy I heard many older relatives talking about other kids of a family, the blended family kids. It was not always pleasant conversations. It was the way it was.
The really sad and messed up thing, its the kids who are targeted. I know plenty in our community that are the outsiders of a blended family. It shouldn't be like that. My oldest grandchildren do not have DNA markers of mine. I dread the thought of someone saying to them or to me that they are not my "REAL" grandkids. They are my babies. It would hurt me deeply. I am their granpa.
This week the government of Canada is trying to do something about their actions regarding Indigenous kids. The government and their agents stole a thousands of kids from their parents and gave them away or sold them. This kids became the blended kids in other families. Do you think they were treated like "family"? Some very luck ones yes. Others were the outsiders, the not real part of the family. Can you imagine that, growing up being not part of the family? I wonder if blood is the only thing which makes us family? It should not be.
My Mom didn't like that kind of thing, the outsider. Kids need to know they are loved all the time. People have to overcome the urge to be hard on the kids. Kids remember and will not forget what is said to them. Let''s hope they have good memories.
There is enough hardship in life that our children will endure, let's not add to it. Let's be kind to them after all they are real kids.