This is what I call my children. When I'm speaking of them, or calling them to go somewhere... and today I had all four of them. I find it fascinating - there are four children, two of them by one woman, and two from another. They have the same father, but different everything else. My step children are much less involved with my in-laws, have a completely different home environment, different educational background, different holidays and traditions in a lot of ways. I make sure that my step kids are a part of my extended family - in that I bring them to my mothers, and refer to them as Grammy and Auntie this and Auntie that. And the girls do spend a lot of time with us - we have them the majority of every weekend. Lilli and Sarah obviously have Lisa's whole extended family that they are close to as well. It seems as though they are two totally separate families in so many ways.
And yet these four kids are so intimately connected and so close. They have the obvious bonds, Lilli and Sarah and then Jess and Sam - but when all of them are together, it's amazing to watch. Jess and Lilli were close from the beginning - Lilli bonded immediately with baby Jessica and Sarah was totally uninterested in her for a long time. And that's still there, the bond with Lilli and Jessie. Those are the two that will play together in Jessie's room, or hang out on the computer. And my little Sam - while Jessie still holds this dominant place in his life because she's here all the time - he LOVES his Sarah. He lets her carry him around the house (and he hates it when kids pick him up usually) and spends most of his time following her around like he's a little puppy. And she's so patient with him - and so willing to play with him. And then they'll switch the whole thing up - in the car, we have assigned seating. Jessie and Sarah sit in the way back and they LOVE it. They have a secret language they communicate in (it consists mostly of spitting at the window and screaming with laughter) and Sam and Lilli will sit and play together - she'll read to him or play with little toys.