вторник, 7 декабря 2010 г.

Isaac's New Family

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery

BY: Megan Venner

A new baby is like the beginning of all things -- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.
~Eda J. Le Shan

It was Christmas Eve. My two-month-old son was up well past his bedtime and surprisingly happy for such a late hour. The smell of Tortiere, my family's traditional Christmas Eve dinner, still lingered in the air mingling with the pine of the tree and evoking all the memories of a lifetime of family holidays.

The job of entertaining my young son was left largely to my parents, my dad stretching out with him on the floor as he had done so many nights with me as a child. My mind was occupied. I was waiting nervously for my husband's return. Later this Christmas Eve, he was bringing a special visitor to my parents' home. My eleven-year-old stepdaughter, Samantha, had just flown in from her mother's house thousands of miles away.

A lot of thought had gone into this evening. It was the first time Samantha would meet her baby brother. A move across the country when I was pregnant meant she was not there when Isaac was born, and school commitments meant she couldn't visit soon afterwards. Christmas was to be our first chance and, thanks to a late Christmas break and flight schedules, she wasn't to arrive until nearly midnight on Christmas Eve.

This was the moment we had lost sleep over. Being a stepparent leaves you precariously balanced at the best of times, and introducing a baby threatened a shift of tectonic proportions. It was going to be the first time Samantha would have to share her father. At home, her mom had two young boys, but she was used to being the center of attention at our place. We had done everything we could think of to ease the transition. We had picked a special time and way to tell her I was pregnant, we had included her in the plans for the baby's room and discussions about names, and we constantly talked about how lucky little Isaac was to have a great big sister like her. Still, it didn't seem enough.

She arrived. Arriving with a mammoth suitcase, she brushed past me, barely saying hello, and headed straight for her brother. That's when it happened.

It was the moment we really became a family. It wasn't anything my husband or I did. It was two-month-old Isaac. Samantha settled down to play and when she tickled him, Isaac laughed -- for the very first time. All that planning, all that worry -- and it was a helpless little infant who made it happen. In one moment, that little laugh cancelled out all the complications of divorce, blended families, and stepchildren. We were just us -- a family. He made us whole that night, and for that, I will always be grateful. Most would say it was just coincidence, but I choose to believe Isaac was saving that first laugh. Acting on instinct, Isaac's joy came out the moment his new family was complete.


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