Blended

  • We Are Family

    By Liz Kingsley
    September 6, 2016

    We’re near the seven-year mark, the approximate point at which blended families organically take on the tone of a family that was organically formed. Something happened this summer that caused ...

  • Who Gets the Big Room?

    G and I have been blending our family for some time now. In fact, we’re almost at the seven-year mark, when, the literature says, the dust storm stirred by competition, jealousy, awkwardness, ...

  • Food Wife

    Living in a blended family comes with daily challenges brought on by the seven personalities in our house (nine including the puppies), but sometimes, G and I have plain old couples issues that would ...

  • Just Say No (if you can)

    I’ve been at this mom thing a decent amount of time as my oldest son, Blue, is about to turn sixteen. An incident this past week made me realize how little I like saying no, and it’s come ...

  • Sensational Step Sunday

    G and I acknowledge to each other that this life we’ve chosen is hard.  We live in a home with seven people, some of whom are in crucial stages of development. And then there are the ...

  • Adolescent iPsychology

    I’m taking a summer course in adolescent psychology, and I’m discovering that this period in a young person’s life is rife with expanded cognitive ability. According to famed ...

  • Time to Teach These Kids to Fish

    At one of this year’s first summer travel baseball games, before the 100+ degree real-feel heat wave, before accepting 4:30 or 9:30 dinnertime as normal, before logging hundreds of miles on ...

  • DOMA’s Undoing – Progress to Many, a Setback to our Governor

    Our Supreme Court made a landmark decision this week when it overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, which since 1996 has defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. New Jersey’s ...

  • My Daughter

    Not long ago, I became a stepmother to three wonderful kids, a girl and two boys. I have two boys of my own, so I’m no stranger to sons, but I really don’t know from girls, other than ...

  • I Took My Child to Work and I Loved It

    I recently experienced my first “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.” I owe my resulting glow to Gloria Steinem, who founded its predecessor, “Take Our Daughters to Work ...

  • Stepsonshine

    A wonderful thing happened…it wasn’t forced, it wasn’t solicited, it wasn’t egged on by an adult hoping a child would do something kind. Last Friday afternoon, several of ...

  • Surgery Surprises for Same-Sex Pseudo Spouses

    About two weeks ago, my girlfriend G had surgery. It wasn’t an emergency procedure, thank goodness, so we had plenty of time to arrange kid transport to and from school (thank you to the ...

  • The Most Super of Cuts

    Four weeks ago, my oldest son Blue had his bar mitzvah. If you’ve been through this with your child, you’ll surely recall the pride you felt as you watched him in his shining moment.

  • Love and Sunscreen

    Our family spent a week this August on Lake Norman near Charlotte, North Carolina. We were a full house of sixteen: G, me, our five kids, G’s mom and step-father, her two aunts, and her ...

  • Oh, He's Gay

    It’s often the little moments during an impromptu mother-son wiffle ball game that demonstrate just how much a ten-year old knows. You don’t necessarily think you’re in for ...

  • Grow Up (actually, not yet!)

    Be careful what you wish for. How many times has that proved true? Aesop really knew his stuff.  Often, when I see my kids’ playing morph into arguing, I wish they would just grow up ...

  • Take Me Back to the Stone Age

    Like many of us (or is it just me?), I have a complicated relationship with technology. It’s part infatuated-with-these-toys and part sad-to-lose-the-simple-past. The infatuation part comes ...

  • The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But?

    I love writing these Blended columns. The act of writing is cathartic and it helps me understand, celebrate and vent about what’s going on in my family.

    A close friend of mine who reads ...

  • Get a Move On

    Now that summer has arrived in March, walking home from school is ideal, particularly to the mom who doesn’t feel like cutting her afternoon short to drive a mile to school in time to get a ...

  • My Compliments

    The idea of a compliment is simple: you give one, the recipient feels good, and you feel good for having perpetuated goodness. Then, you go back to emptying the dishwasher or complaining or ...

  • Let's Talk About Autism, Baby

    A five-minute ride home from a Saturday afternoon basketball game turned into a fascinating exchange about autism. By way of background, G’s older son, hereby known as Lashes, has ...

  • Open, Open, Share, Share

    We humans are bound together by similarities. Most of us have two arms, two legs, one heart and hair that comes out better when we skip a day between washings. Certainly, similarities attracted G ...

  • Union County Spelling Bee

    Who knew a fourth grade spelling bee had the makings of Shakespeare? We had comedy, tragedy and fully realized characters strutting their stuff on the stage.

    Dimples debuted in his first ...

  • Limits and Boundaries and Borders, Oh Please!

    ‘Tis the season of excess – over eating, over spending, over giving and over doing. For those of us in interfaith households, as we double up on lights (Chanukah candles and Christmas ...

  • Looking for Gratitude in All the Wrong Places

    I had this idea for Thanksgiving. It’s not unique, really. I’m sure many families do it. I wanted all 22 of us to sit around our two long tables before eating and take a few quiet, ...

  • Sing It Loud

    G and I love music, I mean really love it. She does her Sugarland thing and I have Neil Young and we listen to a lot in between.

    Our kids, of course, love music too since such things are ...