Thursday, November 20, 2008

Kids Growing Up

Our youngest son is sixteen. The age when boys are perhaps at their most sexually curious, if not active. He told me the other day that the first time he saw his father kiss me he felt uncomfortable. It made me a little sad. He has never lived in anything but a plural family. When he was born, #2 was already here, and she had a big part in helping to raise him. I'm hoping his uncomforableness stems from the lengthy period of time between #2 and then my arrival. He has a girlfriend now and since having one he has become more open and communicative. I think the young lady asks questions about our lifestyle. She's a sweet girl.

None of hubby's sons (the only children who live here) are at all interested in living in polygamy. They don't "judge" it they just say it's not for them. I wonder if this is really so or if it is because our family's lifestyle isn't based on religious belief or salvation. As far as I know the married son has no desire for another wife, and she has out and out said she wouldn't want to share him. The middle son accepts our lifestyle but openly says he thinks it's "weird". When pushed to explain, he says things like: Why would anyone want that? In other words, no concrete answer. The young man with the new girlfriend says things like he just can't imagine loving more than one person.

So why do they reject how we live? This is something that weighs on hubby's mind. I think he worries that somehow they have been unhappy with his and his first wife's decision to have a plural marriage. Do we seem unhappy to them? I highly doubt that. To be honest, I think the two biggest negatives are the "out of the norm" way of life, and main streamed kids don't like to be different from their friends. The other negative would be lack of privacy. It is almost physically impossible to have secrets (not that I want any) and it seems as though everyone knows when Dad sleeps with who. I've mentioned bathrooms before and it sounds petty but it seriously isn't when you are a teenager, or even a middle aged woman like myself. A bigger house might help.

I think those two so called problems are even worse than the friendship issue. By the way, the poll indicated an even split among folks who voted. So the question of whether or not one can have a "normal" social life is still a big question.

But back to the kids. I believe I mentioned that they don't keep this secret for us. That indicates that they aren't embarassed or ashamed. But they still seem to reject the lifestyle for themselves. I think more pragmatically. I think how lucky they have been to always have a parent figure at home. In the past, the three adults more or less took turns depending on various things, either working from home or not going to work so someone would be here for the kids. That was a financial sacrifice. I think, they are very fortunate now to have built in babysitting for their young children, and a lovely home that we collectively bought so they could live nearby. Things like that. The neighbors tolerate us and have at times been friendly. The people next door over the years have invited this family to special gatherings in their home. There has really been no ostracism, in the neighborhood or at school. Hubby's extended family is warm and welcoming to all of us and they live nearby.

There are other practical matters that are positive too. For instance tonight Hubby wanted to watch a movie I had no inclination or desire to watch. But hey, not my night! lol :) Stupid things like I don't have to watch any Science Fiction or Star Wars stuff. I only have to cook every other night! Someone else makes sure the bills are all paid. It's really nice that I don't have to worry about that.

So what do you think the kids are rejecting?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Added a figet and ready to lately :)

As the seasons change and the holidays approach I've been doing some reflecting on life lately. What a couple of years I've had!

Married into a plural family, left my job and fast paced lifestyle, moved across the whole country, became a step parent and a grandmother almost all at once! It's no wonder my head still spins sometimes. As each obstacle or challenge comes it is dealt with but wow, it is still dizzying sometimes! Please take note~ I didn't say it was negative.

Oh there are still a few issues but I am starting to feel ready to deal with them in a better more positive light.

Life lately is good overall. The hippy commune/college dormitory style of living here isn't all that terrible, really it isn't. Would I still LOVE to have my own bathroom? Well of course! Doesn't everyone want one? :)

My relationship with my sister wives is getting closer. I have come to accept that #2 and I will probably always have issues, but we do have some things in common, I just have to focus on those things somewhat more. We both love comedy, things from "back home," we are both resistent to change in general, and we both love this family! Her lack of boundaries remains the largest issue, but I don't think it's possible to change another human being, and the Serenity Prayer comes in very handy at certain times. :)

Truth be told, right now my largest concern has little to do with the sister wives, the hubby, and more to do with ME. I am a social person. I am given to recluse when depressed, or lacking funds, but I have always had a bevy of friends and acquaintances to call upon for conversation, debate, hugs, and fun.

The other day, I mentioned to hubby that I don't know how I will ever make friends here. His response was to get a part-time job. Easier said than done. I tried for a while. I was either over qualified, too old (yes I know that shouldn't matter but ask anyone who has experienced age discrimination, it exists), or there was nothing available that I was qualified to do! I gave up, but I will go back to looking.

I'm not sure that is the answer though. I wish I knew what the answer is. The plural lifestyle is inhibiting. I don't want my family to be a "curiosity" for acquaintances I make or friends I cultivate. I honestly don't know how to handle this particular problem. Also, all my life I have had friends of every persuasion, color, sexual orientation and gender. No one else in this family has friends of the opposite sex for instance. I can foresee it being problematic. But I may be worrying about nothing.

The largest obstacle to outside friendships though is the lack of privacy to entertain. This isn't a small house, but there are alot of people in it. Plus there would have to be a certain level of trust in the friendship before I would consider inviing folks over. The friendships that already exist here are long standing, none of them 'my" friendships. Sometimes I see where the people who live on compounds have it easier in that regard..ONLY in that regard though. If you've ever watched Big Love on HBO, you can see that the women have few if any outside friends, there is the one plural family they associate with and that's basically it. The teenagers have limited friendships and poor Margene wanted Pam the neighbor, for a friend which worked out badly. I think it's a fair portrayal of the social interaction in plural lives.

On the plus side, it almost is impossible to be lonely!

If anyone has any advice, counsel or commentary on this subject I would love to hear it.