Thursday, February 9, 2006

Half-Step

Today my teacher told me The Boy is only my Half-Brother.

It was as much a statement as it was a question.
Cinderella was attending a group organized by her school for children of divorce and the dipshit social worker in charge took it upon herself to correct Cinderella's vocabulary after she proudly gushed to the group about her Little Brother.
Only.Her.Half.Brother.
I was as shocked as she was.
I had forgotten.
Forgotten that they were technically half-siblings.
Forgotten that some people might try to point out this difference.
Forgotten how the monikers given to blended families can negatively influence one's feelings.
Half-Brother.
Stepdaughter.
S.T.E.P.M.O.T.H.E.R.
Just as our relationship has sometimes been affected by our respective labels, Cinderella's relationship with The Boy was now being challenged. Her loyalty being brought into question by a label meant to distiguish between stepchildren and their post-divorce-remarriage siblings.
This label was never a part of our vocabulary. Not once did it ever enter our thoughts or Hearts.
The Boy is Cinderella's Brother. She is his Sister.
Now thanks to a support group meant to HELP HER she was hurt and had to come to me for reassurance. And an explanation.
She needed to know why she had never heard this term before.
She needed to know that being her half-brother didn't mean that she now had to love The Boy only half as much.
Other people might call The Boy your half-brother, I tell her but in our Home and in our Hearts you both are Brother and Sister. There is no difference.

Or is there?

8 comments:

Dolfinnlover said...

Been there and back... what I asked my (step) Boys is "Do I treat you like my children, do I love you like a son?" his response was Yes of course, well then these are your sisters, and you are there brothers end of story. Fortunatly, they got it.

Anonymous said...

I hope you educated the social worker! How horrible. Sorry for the pain, and ignorance on her behalf.

Anna V said...

That was so mean of the social worker, and uncalled for! I have 2 older "half sisters" and 1 older "half brother." My entire life I have considered them my sisters and my brother, no "half" about it. Tell Cinderella that "half stuff" is just semantics; what matters is how you feel in your heart.

Wicked Stepmom said...

Actually, this incident happened 2 years ago (when she was in 2nd Grade) and has never come up again. Cinderella seemed satisfied (and reassured) by my explanation. The term "half-sibling" has never been mentioned in our home or to her again by anyone. She refers to both her siblings as her little brother and baby sister, and she is their Big Sister.

Kat said...

Woah. Sounds like the dipshit needs a little dose of reality, when it comes to family values...brings me back to a time when my fourth grade teacher, Sr Mary Immaculate Heart - I kid you not...Catholic School, need I say more? - told me that my father did not love me because he and my mother were divorced. My mother marched right into the principal's office and totally ripped that nun a new one!

Wicked Stepmom said...

Hi Kat: Catholic guilt .. I remember it well. :) Way to go Mom for sticking up for you and your Dad!

Carmen said...

Sorry I don't agree. Two children that have a different father or mother are indeed half-siblings.

That is the biological relationship, this has nothing to do with how much they are loved.

If they are not "half siblings" then they are rare indeed in as much as they have three biological parents.

Get real people!

Wicked Stepmom said...

Carmen -

We're not denying the semantics of their relationship - I just don't see the need to "get real" and point it out to the kids - IMO, when it's expressed in the manner you have expressed it, it can serve no other purpose than to confuse, hurt and drive a wedge these young children.

The only other person who has ever tried to use the term "half-brother/sister" was Cinderella's BioMom in an effort to sway her daughter and the court in the custody battle (which she ultimately lost). I think that says a lot right there.