Step-Son Once Removed

What would you call him?  He’s the half-brother of my step-son.  For today we’ll call him “C”.  I’ve never been good at figuring out distant family connections, like 2nd cousins twice removed.  Now, add to those complexities all this blended family craziness and you’ll have our house last weekend.

Here’s the deal.  My husband’s first wife (Ex-Wife-In-Law #1) gave birth to his oldest son.  That son lives with us.  Several years later she remarried and had another son.  That’s our friend C.  Now she and C’s dad are going through a divorce and apparently his dad isn’t very good about taking his son on his assigned weekend.  So instead, she’s been sending C over to our house to visit his big brother.

As you might imagine, I have a dilemma.  C is a sweet boy and I don’t mind him visiting, but my concern is that EWIL #1 will take advantage of our hospitality.

For one thing I’m confused.  She professes not to be my biggest fan.  And obviously she has issues with my husband (she divorced him after all).  So why is she okay with sending her 7 year old to stay with us?  Surely she doesn’t believe the teenaged son is actually putting down the video game controller and hanging out with his brother.  I mean seriously… the boys are sweet together, but what teenage boy really “watches” over his brother when there are parents around to make sure he’s fed and not climbing on the roof?!

I guess I’m still struggling to understand her motives.  I get that she’s a single mom now and probably would like a night “off”.  And I guess since we already had our 5 kids plus one friend sleeping over, what’s one more little guy?  I should be happy that our home is where the kids want to be.  And I am.  Except for when I’m buying groceries or doing laundry.

So for whatever reason C comes to visit, we’ll embrace him.  But one thing he’s learning quickly.  We have boundaries.  He did not understand why I made him stop playing his brother’s M-rated video game.  Sorry kid, my house – my rules. 7-year-olds play kid games, or go play outside.  If nothing else I want to feel like we’re having a positive impact on any child that comes over.

For now, I’ll stock up on groceries and we’ll see who shows up next weekend.

(archived from Apr. 30, 2013)


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