We get alot of questions about merging me, who had no plans for kids, with Josh’s 4 kids. How it worked? Was there drama? Was it difficult? How ARE the kids actually handling it? Do they hate their step-Roo? The answer is….No. [They better not at least. Because I will crack some skulls.. kidding.]
Well, I will start by saying, each of these kids are very very different personality wise, they have no similarities outside of their looks. So this part will be easier told by breaking it down kid by kid.. Let’s start youngest to oldest.
He’s not only the youngest, but the only boy of the group. He’s constantly surrounded by loud females, doing their hair, their makeup,taking selfies and honestly just annoying him because they can. Justice is a super laid back personality, in the most Josh way possible. (we call him Josh Jr around here) Nothing bothers him, nothing affects him, so me coming into his life? Changed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. I mean, nothing. As far as he was concerned.. I was just another person he could convince to reach the oreos for him, and potentially help him win monopoly. Outside of that? He could care less. By Far, the easiest. Minus the fact he’s LEARNING to pick up sarcasm, so I have occasionally had to explain to him that I am kidding.
And here we go….
Molly and I had instant chemistry if you will. There was a bond there right off the bat, probably because like everyone, EVERY… ONE.. says “Molly is a younger, smaller version of me” Molly speaks loudly, enters a room and you know she’s there, she says whatever crosses her mind, she’s the wildest of the group, she’s the one that before I even approach ANY situation in the kids room, if someone is crying,screaming, or begging for their lives– I know-Molly caused it.
Her and I met, and her first words to me were, “I really like your unicorn tattoo…OH and you have a shark..I love sharks & Unicorns” Then, she cried in the middle of the Mexican restaurant while giving Josh the death glare, because we wouldn’t go to Big Air. (it was like watching me ask my dad for a advance on Christmas) We became instant friends. Whenever I came over she instantly met me at the door, she talked,and insisted on sitting next to me. Then when she moved into my house, she went everywhere with me.
The first thing you need to know about Ella, is everyone loves her. She’s that kid that just doesn’t really cause you a lot of issues ever. I think in 8 months, I’ve had to tell her to “knock that crap off” ONCE. She’s VERY smart, she loves school, she loves to read and she’s slowly learning who she is. She’s learning her style, and what she wants, which can be VERY frustrating at this age. (You ladies ALL remember those confusing days.) She’s torn between wanting to be a teenager, and wanting to remain a kid, and I’m just as confused as she is trying to help her figure that out. She asks questions, and sometimes they are hard questions that we answer. Ella is a simple person who only wants to enjoy life, and she wants the truth and the facts behind everything. HER first words to me were “You are so pretty.” She’s a sweet kid, and she always is interested in getting to know me.
Let’s be honest– this is the REAL one you wanted to know about, but didn’t want to directly ask.
Here is what you need to know about Grace. She is quiet, she doesn’t say much when you first meet her, and sometimes strangers/new people make her uncomfortable, and just like me, she could’ve been an only child, and survived (easily).But most importantly you need to know… Grace Houston.. LOVES her dad. I mean, loves him, he hung the moon in the sky, he could do no wrong, and she was placed here on this earth to protect him, his heart, his well-being and everything in-between.
(Insert me arriving with those same feelings)
G and I didnt have the best start. I believe both of us could openly admit that at this point. We both struggled with understanding each other, with relating to each other, and finding common ground. There were times I caught her opening up to me, and she would catch it at the same time, and shut down. I understood, I was someone she didn’t know, she wasn’t sure she could trust at this point, she didn’t know my intentions. Even when she moved into the house, you could still tell.. she was a bit unsure of what was going on.
Fast forward, I find Grace on Pinterest, I start looking through her stuff trying to get a birthday gift planned out. What actually happened? I ended up getting a better idea of the teenager living in my house. I saw that her and I, actually have a lot in common, a WHOLE lot. She has dreams and goals, just like me at 16. She has adventures to places I’ve been, a future plan that my family already has and can assist her in, she has style icons of clothes that are in my closet currently. We were not that different.
This small step, opened the door to conversations between her and I, which led to even bigger and tougher conversations with her. Every Friday night, she came to me not just with “what should I do” questions, but the “why did this happen?” questions. She brought the tough questions, and I gave her the tough answers. Josh and I agreed from day one, that no matter how tough the answers were, we always told the kids the complete and utter truth.We didn’t sugar coat it, we didn’t allow them to only see the “good” the “safe”, the “parental appropriate” answers…, they heard and saw the truth.
Grace and I are on much better terms. We spend most of our late night Fridays, and early morning Saturdays together on the couch, discussing the latest in both of our lives, asking each other questions so that we can fix any issues that may be going on, and just understanding each other. We text, and talk, we share different things that we both want, or need, and we both know that we really really love her dad.
Life-is funny. I’ve been told my whole life “God, is a comedian.. He’s just playing for a crowd too scared to laugh” and boy that’s where I’m at now, laughing.
This life? It’s been a change for me, a BIG change. This life was not something I ever expected or planned for. It actually was FAR from my plan.I remember the day I told everyone I married someone with 4 kids, and they laughed. Me? Roo? Whose never even held a baby? Right. But here I am. I won’t lie, and put on a brave face. I was scared. Scared to death. I remember walking in to meet these kids for the first time ever, and thinking “what if they hate me? Is my hair okay? What do I even say to them?!” I remember planning my outfit for hours, I remember texting every girlfriend in my phone freaking out. I remember walking away from it thinking “god I hope they don’t tell him I’m awful” (they didn’t by the way.. But they would never admit that)
And here we all are, months later.. “The Houstons” (& were excelling at it actually)
Who would’ve thought?