As I watch my two stepchildren race for their Advent calendars throughout December, I can’t help but feel a little wistful. And, I promise you, it is for the dumbest reason ever.
Every time we start a holiday/family tradition, I always feel a little sad that I can’t say to them “We’ve done this every single year for you.”
I know, I know. The dumbest thing ever.
It’s just hard when you’re a stepmom, I think. In fact, I think it’s even harder when your stepchildren are older and not little like mine. It’s hard thinking that they have different traditions with their mom and that those are the ones that will probably stick out the most to them. It’s hard when they’re only here every other weekend so traditions have to be crammed into three days. It’s hard when I think about future children and how traditions are still changing and being created.
But, as a stepparent, this is why it has been so important for me to start holiday traditions as soon as possible. Even if we change them next year, even if we add more, even if our kids don’t remember each of them, it’s beyond important to me. I want future children, children that will be with us 24/7 to know that these traditions started with their big brother and sister. I want my stepchildren to know that making the holidays magical for them is just as important as making them magical for a new child.
Obviously, some traditions will not always be the same. I have an idea of writing letters to a future unborn child and sealing them for when he/she is older. Was I able to do that for my stepchildren? Well, no. Not from the beginning. Does it make me sad? Yes, it does. I love my stepchildren like they are my own and the thought of “doing for one” and not the others makes me so very sad.
But I can start now. Even if my traditions and family ideas aren’t started from the very first day of their lives, the important thing is that they’re started now. Our family is still our family, even if we don’t decorate sugar cookies every year of our children’s lives. (But, dude. I’m totally going to try and make this happen every single year, despite the mess.)
If you’re a stepparent, do you worry about family traditions as much as I do? Do you hope to have some that last throughout their childhoods, even if they didn’t start at the ‘beginning’?