Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Other Child

Growing up as the step child in the family was never much fun for me; imagine a step grandmother that while hugging you would camouflage a rather hurtful pinch in her embrace, purposely put mushrooms in your food, or giving the "real" grandchildren nicer gifts at the Christmastime.

It was one of the main reasons that if I should ever get married again, my youngest daughter would have to be adopted by my husband. There is nothing in the world that can replace that sense of belonging that every child needs.

And while I do not worry very much about it for my two older children; as their father is still active in their lives, I did worry about it for my youngest.

However, my husband did adopt my youngest daughter. His name will be on her birth certificate, and with a name change it has all been made official.

Except...

there will still be differences.

I most recently observed this difference as my two oldest children took gift after gift out of the large boxes that they received from their father's side of the family, and put them under the tree.

My littlest one looked around with and expression of bewilderment and excitement, exclaiming "Where's my presents?!"..."Is this one for me?!"

And the look of dejection in her eyes, when one after the other, I said "no honey...that one is for Zac...or Abby."

Zac and Abby's dad was gracious enough to send the Snoog a couple of packages, and for that I am thankful. Nor would I begrudge my two older children the relationship that they have with their father, as I know it is very important to them. But I know that as she gets older she will wonder at why her brother and sister receive more than she does.

Today, another box came for my two older children. Again from thier father's side of the family. And the Snoog, in her little girl resolve exclaimed "Those are from Santa!"

I waited until she was out of the room to unbox the packages and quickly-quietly put them under the tree while wistfully taking inventory in my head on what she will be receiving from us this year. Certainly not the same amount of presents I am sure. But at the very least I know that she is part of a family that loves her...and will not have to suffer the experiences that I did as the other child.

Perhaps later in life, she will know that she received more than she could ever understand at the tender age of three.

Until that time, I know better than to open packages received in the mail before Christmas Eve.

9 Comments:

At 12:16, Blogger scott said...

It's always sad for a child when someone gets a gift and they don't. Children can't understand that, and it's one of the little tragedies of life. One of the little tragedies that we forget quickly.

Your youngest is so fortunate to have the two of you as her parents. That's something that will never go away or be forgotten.

Lovely post. Sad, but lovely.

Hello, Kassi.

 
At 14:19, Blogger Kassi said...

Thank you Scott, Hello!

 
At 15:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This saddens me, it really does. I wish I could do more,I guess I didn't realize about Kimi so much. Maybe next year.

John

 
At 16:32, Blogger Kassi said...

John it isn't for you to make up for...that is mine and Caleb's job to ensure the balance. You are just fine. Thank you for thinking of her though, it was very kind.

 
At 17:31, Blogger Chris said...

I've never been in that situation before, but I've witnessed it with other family members. My mom always made sure to have extra kid gifts when our family got together just in case something like this happened and of course, it always did. Nonetheless, you have a well loved family and that's a beatiful thing.

 
At 08:49, Blogger Kelly said...

That kind of insensitivity makes me hurt for your daughter, but Scott's right: she's blessed to have you and her husband for parents. You'll pick up the slack. Sometimes life is just hard, isn't it? xo

 
At 10:16, Blogger diggincookin said...

Although difficult and at first glance, sad, remember this: How hard is it for children to learn that they are part of the world and not it's center? The earlier this very hard lesson is learned, the easier life is to lead. I feel for Kimi, but am glad she has one less heart wrenching lesson ahead.

Love!

 
At 13:06, Blogger Kassi said...

It's not so much center of the world, as it is worthy of the same love-attention as others. I'm here to teach her that she IS loved just as much.

 
At 16:20, Blogger diggincookin said...

No doubt about it!

Wish me luck, I'm about to start making my first gingerbread house, from scratch.

 

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