The night before Husband and I wed, the officiating pastors sat down with us—Husband, I, and our Junior Tribe Members (JTM’s). We had just had a party with family and close friends at our rehearsal-less dinner and they had gone home. Immediate family and the officiants were left.
We gathered to review how the ceremony would go—and who would get up and when. We had invited the JTM’s to be part of it as supportive of our union.
They were also our witnesses—I suspect that rock/paper//scissors in the services to determine traditional best man/maid of honour duties was a first in a wedding ceremony.
At various times, a pastor spoke to my kids—the Bergens would stand over here, and his—the Klassens, who would be over there. At one point, all the JTM’s were to go back to their seat, and in the spur of the moment, Pastor J mentioned that the Klabergs would together sit down.
Klabergs emerged in the spur of the moment, but it stuck.
Klabergs we are.
Together, we are two-families-who-are-one. When we are one family, we are Klabergs. We enjoy family dinner together, celebrate our Christmas Stocking Extravaganza Experience (CSEE), Easter dinner and Thanksgiving dinner together.
We do Mother’s and Father’s Day as Klassens and Bergens. Two-families-who-are-one are two families on that day. Other times, Husband will go out with his kids sometimes, alone.
They have decades of history that I am not a part of. It just makes sense that sometimes we are two families, and sometimes we are one. The situation has sort of figured itself out.
This Christmas, I ordered a clock for Husband as a gift:
It took a while to come, but we got it a few weeks ago. I loved how it celebrates the “one family” part of our “two families”. Neither family gives up it’s identity as we join.
We are a grafted family. Not a blended one.
Blended families imply a milkshake like soup—picture banana, strawberries, ice and yogurt whipped together by a blender. A smoothie drink is delicious, but each fruit and ice cube has been obliterated in the process. Delicious for a drink—and not appealing for a family.
Sometimes, I call us a “grafted family”. When I lived in California, I saw orange trees that would have one or more lemon branches grafted onto it. It was definitely one tree that produced two distinctly different fruits. Some branches had lemons, some had oranges.
Different, even though they grew together, and shared the same trunk.
That feels like it fits too.
A few weeks ago, Husband and I met with one of his friends and his fiancé to share what little wisdom we have from our experience of our grafted two-families-who-are-one-family. In the coming week or two, I’ll share what we talked about stepfamilies.