This article is part of a series known as #30DaysOfThanks.


modern family

As cliché as it sounds, I am most thankful for my modern family. As a child of divorce, I was forced to split every birthday and holiday between my mom and dad. I was very young when my parents separated and do not really remember them being married. My father was remarried by the time I was four years old and my amazing, strong single mom raised my sister and I. 

If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be able to spend all of life’s major milestones with both my parents in the same room I would have said you were crazy. But as many people say, “time heals all wounds.” If it was not for my stepmom Dana, I do not think that we all would have been able to come together as the family we are today. There were many times my sister and I would talk about the future like when we got married or had kids. Our biggest fear was that we would not be able to enjoy these special moments because we would always be playing the middleman between our parents.

Looking back, I now know why I wanted to skip my college graduation or would say I never wanted to get married. It was because I did not want to deal with all of that drama for the rest of my life. 

Then Dana came into my dad’s life and changed our family for the better. I was nervous to meet the new woman in his life because his last wife seemed to put a strain on all his relationships with his family. But Dana ended up be so nice and easygoing.

At my high school graduation party, my mom and Dana finally met. This was also the first event I had where both my parents were together and talking. Dana and my mom hit it off and became instant friends. So the seed was planted and slowly our family dynamic started to change into something wonderful. 

My family started to talk about all the mistakes of the past and that allowed all of our old wounds to heal and we were finally able to move forward. All of our relationships improved and we began spending more and more time together.

Most kids whose parents get divorced have a secret fantasy that their parents will get back together. That was never mine, I knew my parents were better off apart than together.

My fantasy was to spend a Thanksgiving or a Christmas with both my parents. That fantasy finally came true. We were celebrating Thanksgiving two years ago at my mom’s house and I looked around the table to see all four of my parents laughing and genuinely enjoying the holiday together. Since then, we have spent more holidays, dinners and soon to be vacations together. 

I know it sounds weird that all four parents’ get along and spend time together, but that is why I am so thankful. I never thought this would happen, but it did and I feel so blessed and grateful every time I am with them.

Families come in all different shapes and sized these days, so why should mine be any different? We may have hit a few bumps in the road to get to where we are today, but I honestly believe that this was the plan all along for us, because now I could not imagine life with out this modern family of mine. 

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