Being “blended” means a lot of stuff. Deep important things like how we will raise our children with co-parents, their overall well-being and emotional health, etc., etc. (It's a long list.)
But it also means lots of other "stuff" like "stuff stuff". Not necessarily important, but required. Logistics frequently fall into this category. Who is going where on what days. Do the kids have their dance bag, swim bag, overnight bag, baseball bag, etc. Do the kids have all the articles of clothing they need for the week.
So, like all newlyweds, last night as we were laying in bed my husband and I had a full in-depth conversation about the kids' outerwear and where exactly all their sweatshirts, sweaters, and jackets go. I joked during winter that I had a recurring order with Amazon to send weekly supplies of snow pants, boots and gloves. I think I may have to do the same with sweatshirts.
Every morning the children leave from our house dressed appropriately for what we assume the weather will be. Sometimes I check, often I take an educated guess. End of March - some kind of jacket. April in Nebraska - snow pants. (I wish I were kidding.) I’m not going to argue with you about shorts - if your knees are chilly you will live. But the thing about jackets and sweatshirts are that they don't come back. Literally disappear. That black hole they photographed recently - I’m sure they are in there floating around with our kids’ initials still smudged on the tag. The children have no recollection of where they have gone. I'm sure when they are seniors in high school they will wake up someday with a revelation that under the bleachers at their grade school is a graveyard of fleece-lined Walmart sweatshirts. So I buy more...
Here is the irony. As much time and effort as we put into making sure our kids are dressed and ready for whatever the day brings us, and as much thought as we give to sweaters, sweatshirts and jackets, I myself frequently leave the house with wet hair (my son actually believes this is a “style”) and I often get into the car dressed like I work in California, and don’t realize until I ask Siri about the weather en-route that we are only 4 degrees from freezing.
I often talk about how being a stepmom is lonely. This space - the wet hair, forgotten lunch, no jacket space is a full on club. It’s a mom-only club. A club that stashes extra pairs of shoes under their desks. A club that has at least three jackets and scarves hanging on the back of the office door. A club that has Pringles and granola bars in their mini-van just in case. And a club that will always have a spare ponytail holder in their purse.
Cheers to you friends. I look forward to seeing you at the “lost and found” table at school. Maybe we’ll find some of those sweatshirts we’ve been looking for.