I was very lucky with my oldest two. Tracey saw no barriers, and neither did her parents. They're Tracey's kids, and by extension they're her parents' grandkids and her great-grandparents' great-grandkids. The word 'family' means a lot around here.
One of the most disturbing things I've heard at work was a grandparent talking about their daughter's step-son.
"That's HIS child," they said, like the kid doesn't count. Their daughter's latest kid, their 'real' grandchild, is molly-coddled and praised and spoiled, but not this older kid. It's horrible. It's wrong. It happens all the time.
Clearly this has occurred to Geoffrey, Master20, as well. The other day he posted this message on Tracey's Facebook wall:
"I don't think I've ever publicly said this before Tracey, but I love you and I am incredibly blessed to have you in my life.
You were thrust into a situation where you suddenly had two little kids and you treated us like your own. Not only did you manage to keep your head above water but you made swimming look easy. You looked after us and gave us an incredible life.
I love that you get offended if people even hint at Mishaela and I not being counted as your kids. lol. You are an amazing individual and deserve the best. Thank you for the wonderful life and quality memories we've shared together."
She cried. We all got a little teary actually. I can tell Tracey how wonderful she's been with all my kids but there's something very special about it coming from where her attitude to her step children has made the most difference.
Afterall, whether we're parents, children, step children or step parents, we're all family and we all want the same things: to be acknowledged and loved and accepted.