While cleaning recently, David came across a bulging file folder titled KIDS – REPORTS, LETTERS, ESSAYS, CARDS.  He had a worn out piece of paper in his hands. He said to me, “I want to read you something.” He started reading a poem from one of our kids…but he couldn’t finish it.  We read it together.  I too was overcome with emotion.  It was a poem about a child’s sadness when her mother left.  It was poignant and touched us deeply.

That file folder was a collection of treasures, most of which we’d forgotten -Mother’s Day cards, kid’s letters from camp, school reports – some nasty, some great, school projects, some of which were quite impressive, if I do say so myself.  There were photos of the kids at all ages.  Each page brought up strong memories for us.

That file, untouched for years, took us both by surprise.  We’d forgotten!  The file was chocked full of letters and cards addressed either Dad and Susan or Mom and David.  It was touching to see the immature printing evolving into early script to be followed by typewriter and computer entries. I could immediately recognize each child’s contribution by content as well as penmanship. All the kids have different styles, personalities, senses of humor, and intellect.  Thank God!

David and I sort of lost track of those emotional, formative years.  That file took us back.  We relived those memories… reminiscing, laughing, crying, sometimes surprised and unbelieving.  We both felt grateful for the rich stepfamily experiences we rediscovered in that bulging file folder.

To keep your stepcouple/stepfamily journey alive, all you have to do is keep a file folder. Simply stick cards, letters, essays, poems, pictures, report cards, stories, anything that documents what you want to remember as part of your journey. You will be rewarded years later.

Susan Wisdom, MA
January 2011

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