Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Blended-Family Tree

I just found out this morning, via e-mail, that my grandson, Nicholas (5-1/2), thanks to his dad and step-mom, now has a half-brother: Ryan Jace, born May 23 in Atlanta.

This tree in our Atlanta neighborhood (taken on April 11) is the most convoluted tree I have ever seen. It reminds me of what our blended families look like these days. How do we keep each other straight (so to speak!)?

Does that make Ryan my half-grandson? Or is he related to me at all? Not by blood, of course. But as far as Nicholas is concerned???


  1. That's an interesting subject--how far do you take the whole "related" thing? I think as a parent you have to accept your children's (or grandchildren) extended and blended family members as vital part of their lives. My daughters have 2 step brothers from their dad's remarriage. Each girl has different relationships with them in terms of closeness. Certainly Nicholas will feel close to his new "brother", and Ryan will now be a part of many significant things in Nicholas' life that you will all share in together.

    I, however, don't think this makes Ryan related to YOU anymore than anyone else in Nick's family.

  2. I totally agree with you, Shari. Well said. Amy and I have been discussing this, knowing the day would soon come. Ryan is not my g'son; Nicholas is! As Nicholas relates to Ryan, as with his dad's relatives, he'll have his own set of experiences that I'll never know. Those experiences will help him become who he is...just as his experiences with me and MY side of the family will. It's all so very fascinating to think of how this important person in my life has so many other branches of the tree to relate to!

  3. That is great for Nicholas. I'm sure he will enjoy having a brother. One always hopes they will be good friends as well as siblings. May 23 - another Gemini...

    "..has so many other branches of the tree to relate to!" I like the way you expressed that, and I love that tree.

  4. As I would see it, Ryan is part of your functional extended family. He's not a blood relative but some functional (non-blood)relationships can become tighter than some blood relationships. Ultimately, I think it is what the two of you choose to make it.

    As an aside, that tree is fantastic. I bet as a kid I would have fun climbing on it.

  5. It is what it is! The relationship Ryan and you have is determined by the two of you and no one else!