When my parents first split up, I was sure my family would never feel "whole" again. I thought there would always be two of everything: two Christmases, Thanksgivings, and birthday celebrations. I figured my three siblings and I would spend our holidays shuffling back and forth from Mom's to Dad's for the rest of our lives. I didn't think they'd be in the same house together for long periods of time especially when my mom started seeing someone after the divorce.
Over the years though, our family has been put back together in a new and even better way. It might seem odd to some how well my step-dad and dad get along, but for us, it's become our new normal to see the two of them sitting on the couch chatting, chasing around their grandkids, or cheering at sporting events. Neither of my children would ever think twice about doing something with both Papa and Grandpa; they have only ever seen their three grandparents interact as a family because that’s what we all are.
It didn't happen overnight. Our family has been bigger for nearly a decade now, and we're still working out the kinks. There were years where I reminded my step-dad that I already had a dad and did not need his presence in my life. I know I certainly didn’t make it easy for him to find a role in our family, but he did anyways and has weathered the good and the bad with us. I couldn’t be more grateful for that.
My dad and step-dad have sat for hours at the same kitchen table playing poker with my brothers or cribbage with a mixture of opponents. On Sunday nights, you can often find them both watching a football game or just enjoying family dinner. They were my second and third phone calls (after my husband) when my air conditioner broke in the middle of July this summer. They each lent advice and hands when we painted our home this fall.
I hosted Thanksgiving for the first time this year and didn't hesitate to invite both of my parents even though they're divorced. Even though, my mom is remarried. Her husband is my children's beloved Papa and was of course in attendance. My small house was filled with myself, my husband, our two young children, my three siblings, and my three parents. It was a perfect holiday.
We're a family, and I'm a lucky girl to have not just one but two supportive father figures. My kids have two wonderful papas to chase them around the yard, play catch with, and spoil them.