Planning helps my anxiety. Calendars are my friends. I am addicted to post-it notes, lists, lined note cards, notebooks, and checking things off or crossing things out as tasks are accomplished. I mentally prepare for the worst outcome for pretty much every significant event.
I mentally prepared for meeting Ian’s family . . . I wanted to make sure I at the very least made a good impression. I was less concerned about impressing the adults as I was about making sure I didn’t mess up the kids. I was prepared to keep quiet and stay in my corner. I wanted to make sure the girls did not feel like I was intruding or distracting or taking time and attention away from them.
I had been in their shoes, and I know I spent lots of time resenting the woman who seemingly took time and attention away from me where my father was concerned. I also believe in karma, and I was not necessarily the sweetest future stepchild. My attitude ranged from tolerant to merciless. I was prepared for karma in this regard. I was prepared for awkward and even awful. What I was not prepared for was wonderful.
There was some awkward adjustment, but that was relatively short lived (thanks to Crash and a long car ride). I was not prepared for all the laughter or to completely fall in love with two little girls or to fall more in love with Ian watching him being a dad. I really wasn’t prepared at all, and try as I might right now I am certainly not prepared for what comes next.
I am not prepared for the car rides we are about to take. I am not prepared for the quiet. I am not prepared to miss them. I don’t even know how to start to prepare for that.