Stepping Stones

My boyfriend’s approach to getting to know my children. 

My boyfriend and I have reached a point where we would like to spend more time together.

Given his kids and mine are under ten years of age, spending more time together means spending time with each other’s kids as well.

We are both mindful that this needs to be a gradual process and that small steps are important.

He has composed a few words to share about how he feels and his perspective.

Stepping stones: Acceptance, Trust, Friendship

For most of us, the concept of stepping stones has a literal meaning that can be seen & felt – an even stone pathway over grass between the house & back garage, a rocky path around a beach headland or more commonly a mossy rock to rock passage over a creek or stream.

Yet over the past few months a new concept of stepping stones has come to the forefront when trying to give the hand of friendship to my partner Clare’s kids. The kids lost their father to cancer and are at times grieving and other times shy. They are very much use to the status quo of their single mum. Maybe cautious to change, new beginnings and a new male figure? As I get to know Clare’s children there will be stepping stones of acceptance, trust and friendship. Stepping stones of patience, care & empathy.

I have always had an instant bond with my children’s play buddies, neighbouring kids, my friends kids and an even stronger bond and love with my nieces and nephews. There has never been an issue with creating rapport with other kids but now I as get to know Clare’s kids I’m aware that they could be sensitive.

The relationship I have had with Clare has only ever been fun, playful & carefree. Hence Clare has always been cautious as to any interactions that I had with her kids. She didn’t want to raise any expectations & hurt down the track.

It’s only been quite recently that Clare has opened her heart & allowed me to meet her kids in settings other than a quick hello before a date. In the last month we have progressed across several stepping stones with several outings and also included my kids who are the same age as Clare’s kids. Clare and I love the outdoors and share this passion with our kids together. So far on my stepping stone quest we have all been swimming at the local pool, met up at the beach, a weekend away rafting and more recently some evening meals together –  warmly sharing stories of our day.

However, an important aspect of life that also happens is to just be at home being present while the kids play games & bond together – this is our next step.

My stepping stones of friendship with Clare’s kids have begun, yet the journey is far from over.

People come and go in our lives. No parent can ever be replaced. Friendships – especially children’s friendships – can be made and lost at the toss of a coin. I just pray that the bond I have with Clare’s children can one day involve acceptance, trust & friendship & maybe over time love.

Images: Darren paddling and playing with his kids and mine in the harbour. 

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