Every time I start to tell Amy a story, it takes five times longer than it should. Why? Because every time I begin with "my ____ family member" we then have to go through who exactly that ___ person is, and how they are indeed related to me.
I was commenting yesterday that it really couldn't even be classified as a family tree anymore, it was more like a family shrub, or bush, a hedge even, and Amy so perfectly said "dear, you have a family tumbleweed".
Let me explain:
I am adopted, and am lucky enough to have a great relationship with both my adoptive parents (Dave and Kay) and my biological parents (Tom & Teresa). I found Tom and Teresa about 6 years ago, and it couldn't be any more perfect. All of my parents get along with each other, and conspire against me on a regular basis.
Here's where it starts getting a little tricky. None of my parents stayed together. Dave and Kay divorced when I was five. Dad re-married a few times since then, creating a veritable maze of step-mothers and siblings, and is now with a great little lady named Peggy. Since they haven't yet married, I classify Peggy's as my "Not quite Step Mother". She has two sons, which are my "Not Quite Step-Brothers".
Mom (Kay) remarried Kerry. Who has two kids, Megan(girl) and Dallas (boy) (but Megan isn't technically Kerry's). So that's a pretty easy one.
Now, Tom and Teresa didn't stay together either. Teresa is married to Lynn. Who has three kids from his previous marriage. Jamie (girl), Randy(girl) and Cody(boy) my step siblings on that side. Teresa never had any more children, so I'm it...which works out really well.
Tom married Deborah and had my three half-siblings, Anabelle(girl), Sidney (boy), and Sadie (girl). They are my only blood siblings (and the very last family I found). Our mothers couldn't be more opposite, so we don't look a thing alike, but we have some very similar aspects in our personalities.
So I have four sets of parents. Eight sets of grandparents. All of my parents have siblings which makes for an array of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Step- grandparents, Step Aunts, Step Uncles, and Step Cousins.
And then there are the Ex-Step Monsters...errr Mothers (and their Ex-Step Families). "Ex-Step Sister-In-Law" was always one of my favorites.
The primary problem is that Amy's parents and siblings are all still married to their original partners, and she quite doesn't understand the difference between "Step" and "Half", and the other difficulty is that it doesn't all fit on one dinner napkin. (we've tried on several occasions to pass the time this way at restaurants.)
I had a pretty good map of it, at one point when I was trying to help my poor therapist, but I'm due for an updated version. I'm sure Ill have to have a clear one with pictures one for my children to be able to make heads or tails of it all.
To Amy's credit, she tries really hard. It throws her that a lot of them have names that could be male or female (ex. Kerry, Lynn, Randy), but for the most part, she can at least keep all of the parents straight.
Luckily we won't have to worry about wedding photographs...(your welcome Mom('s). )
Speaking of "two mommies", talk about needing clarification! HA!
P.S. Look for a "Genetics" post in the near future...I am really quite the little science experiment when it comes to the nature vs. nurture debate.