My niece graduated from college this spring, just a month or so after her thirtieth birthday, after taking years of night school while working full time. She has a double major in business management and human resource management.
Apparently, finishing school has left her...stressed. Second guessing whether or not she truly wants what she thought she did from life. On Facebook tonight, she posted the following:
"It's amazing what a conversation with your parents can do to make you less stressed."
I couldn't help myself. My reply:
"LOL, given the state of the modern family, I kind of have to ask - *which* parents, parental groupings or combination of random parents?"
Let's see if I can explain this in a coherent fashion. My sister and my nieces' father divorced shortly after my niece was born. My sister remarried, and her new husband is a great guy, who happened to have a daughter from his first marriage about the same age as my niece. The girls spent every other weekend together growing up, and have a close, wonderful relationship. So this is parental set #1 and #2 - biological parents and mom and stepdad.
My niece's biological dad also remarried. Twice, actually. My niece has half siblings from both those marriages (honestly, the kids all get along great together, and my current brother-in-law and my former brother-in-law hung around together for a while (neither had known the other prior to all this)), and one ex-stepmom and and a current stepmom on that side. These are parental sets #3 (dad and stepmom #1) and #4 (dad and current stepmom).
Can you wonder why I had to ask?
Everyone involved, as far as I can tell, get along fairly well (it's worth noting my sister and BIL have been married over 25 years now, I think, and former BIL and his current wife have been together somewhere between 15 and 20 years). It may be a little insane, but it works, much better than many similar situations do. The whole family is extremely blessed in that.
I can't help but feel a bit of melancholy, though. As well as it works, as supportive of each other as everyone can be, this isn't God's design for an ideal family. Obviously it can work, but it works in spite of the complications of the relationships that spring from broken relationships, not because of them. As we continue to travel down the road away from the values that God had enumerated in Scripture, away from His ideal, the complexities arising from what we have created are going to collapse under their own weight. And that won't be pretty.
Oh - the answer to my question? Mom and stepdad.