I never told any of you how happy I was the day you helped me move into my apartment last July – or, more specifically, why. I was excited about the move to the first place I would have all to myself, and naturally appreciative of your help, but there was more than that. I never told you that it made me happy that we were all together – that my mom and stepmom greeted each other, that my dad and stepdad helped each other haul furniture, that my dad drove my mom’s 9-year-old step-kid in his 21-year-old step-kid’s pickup truck to my lot, because she just wanted to ride in a pickup truck. It was a day that, ten years ago, I thought I would never see.
Plenty of people are crowing in the media about “broken” homes, implying that a family such as ours is somehow inferior to those with parents who stayed married and did everything “right.” I always want to tell them that I don’t feel broken, and haven’t in years. That the decisions each of us made brought us to this point, and it seems like a perfect place to be. This doesn’t mean that the past is completely fixed or forgotten, but that there is plenty of happiness and fulfillment to be found when people figure out what they really want and move on.
I want you all to know that I’m glad you found each other. Some people can barely find one reliable parent to lean on, let alone four. There are few other people I know who have multiple supportive, intelligent, good-natured parents they can go to for advice and help whenever they need it. To me, this is far from broken, and I pity the “Family Values” fools who don’t get it.