We are a blended family with six children, ages nine to nineteen. Every other weekend, we are all together—eight people under one roof. Jim and I live in our home always (though extensive business travel keeps him away many days of the week); the three Miller children live here most of the time; and the three Nyland guys join us a couple weekends per month.
We are family, but not necessarily familiar.
Even when we are “together,” our interests and commitments pull us in varied directions. Most of the time, Jim and I operate separately, each managing the schedules and attending the activities of our respective offspring. We do fall into the same bed at night, but not necessarily at the same time. Usually, I’m snoring soundly by the time he hits the pillow.
These chaotic weekends challenge us, as a couple, to connect and focus on each other. But we still make “Jim and Beth time” a priority. Certainly this is because we love each other’s company. Also, we have both endured the struggle and isolation of divorce, and we have no interest in revisiting those sensations.
So this afternoon, as our “big family weekend” neared its close, Jim and I stole away for a few minutes of together time. As evidence that we have learned to find these moments anywhere, I’ll tell you where we went: Joann Fabrics.
Our official mission was to gather supplies for my daughter to make a crocodile costume for her part in an upcoming musical at church.
But unofficially? We went shopping to laugh and talk and play. The make something prompt—to make a rainbow from everyday objects—gave us reason to fiddle with craft supplies and be innovative together. We loitered in the bead aisle, choosing strands that coordinated beautifully as we draped them, rainbow-like, over Jim’s arm.
The time was good. Our rainbow is beautiful. And so is our life.