May 29, 2017

An Open Letter to My New Step-Father & Step-Brother

photo credit: Sophie Charron Photography

Hey Guys,

Welcome to our family! I’m here to warn you about what you’re in for as we begin to meld a family of bachelors with a family of women.

As you know, you’ve not only married my mother, but also her three (count ‘em, THREE) daughters, her son-in-law and her grandson. We can be a bit of a handful. So let me give you the rundown on what you’ve missed over the years and what to expect in a family of women.

See, growing up in a house full of ladies led to some life lessons every man should know as they enter a family of girls. For instance, when someone says they are “fine”, they are in fact NOT fine. And while men tend to quietly keep to themselves, we are into each other’s business constantly. We need to know the details.

Ariana is the typical baby of the family. She’s also the smartest, most reserved and most likely to NOT strike up a conversation. It’s not a sign she doesn’t like you. Ari is just a serious, determined, and practical individual. She missed the social gene that you’ll soon see I received.

Alyse is the unexpected one. Growing up she was quiet, super reserved and not very social. Alyse was a homebody. She ironically became the only one of us brave enough to get up and leave home to follow her dreams. She’s determined and inspiring. Her role was always the peace keeper in the family as Ari and I almost killed each other growing up. Weirdly enough, Ari and I now live together. Go figure.

And myself. Well, as I’m sure you’ve come to know…I run the show. I’m bossy, loud and have always been a social butterfly. I’m protective of my family in all the best and worst ways. I will be the person to butt into everyone’s business so I can make sure they make the “right” decisions. I drive my sisters insane and they roll their eyes at me constantly. But I don’t care. I’m the second mom. I make the rules. I’m exhausted 98% of the time and you’ll rarely see me on the weekends in anything but my pajamas from the night before. Because who has time for that? Growing up I was the one who gave my mom all her gray hairs, I didn’t follow rules, and I was dramatic. I still am sometimes.

While we are all very different, we all share the same common feeling in this family…love.

You may be questioning how you both will fit into our lives, or how we will fit into yours. So I’m here to suggest something. What I’ve come to learn over the years is family is a very ambiguous term. Family to me is not those who share your bloodline. It’s the people who are there for you no matter what. The people who care about your well-being. The people who share joy with you during your accomplishments and feel pain with you when you are sad. The people who you can crack a beer with and make fun of the stupid mistakes they made over the years. That is family. Our family is not gaining a step-father and step-brother. We are gaining a second father and a new brother to me and my sisters. A father-in-law and a brother-in-law to my husband. A grandfather and an uncle to my son.

The rule in our family is no matter how close we are or how far apart, no matter how much we yell or cry or want to rip the other’s head off, we are still always there for each other no matter what. Welcome to our family, and feel free to call us crazy at some point…because we totally are.


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