The kids and I were getting ready to go to a friend’s house and go swimming. Getting six kids out the door, on top of swimming items (towels, sunblock etc.), is quite a task. As I am frantically gathering all the stuff I need for everyone, my son, Adan, comes up to me.
“I’m part of this family, right?”
I stopped and looked at him. I did a quick inventory of the mornings activities to recall if anything had happened, I didn’t remember hearing any yelling prior to him coming to me… What in the world?? Adan just stood there, the youngest boy, my son from a previous marriage, his big brown eyes staring at me as he patiently waited for an answer.
“Of course you are” I said gently “why in the world would you ask me that question?”
“The bag downstairs. It just says Ray Family. It doesn’t say Ray and Salcido”
Oh my gosh, immediate tears. I knew exactly what he was talking about. A month earlier my friend had held a Proverbs 31 party at her house. I ordered this large, beautiful tote bag. All black (my favorite color) with large pink embroidered letters that spelled out “Ray Family”. Let it be known that I am a sucker for personalized items. I can’t help it. I love stuff with my name on it! I also have a large Proverbs 31 organizer that hangs in my pantry that’s personalized as well.
I got on my knees so I was eye level to my son. I scooped him up in my arms and through my tears I told him that he is absolutely a part of this family. I explained to him that Jason and I are husband and wife and we make up the head of the family. Since our last name is Ray we are the “Ray Family”. Because Adan is my child and Jason is his step father, he is a part of our family.
“Your last name doesn’t decide what family you are a part of” I tell him “It’s what’s in your heart that makes you family”.
For the next hour I was upset. I know I didn’t intentionally try to hurt him and maybe I was a little hormonal and that’s why it upset me so much. But I do know that I learned a valuable lesson from this interaction. It’s not that I will stop getting stuff personalized with “Ray Family” but I should’ve thought about what that might’ve looked like through Adan’s eyes. Next time I get anything personalized I will make sure and remind him that he is part of the “Ray Family”, WHATEVER his last name is.