When my wife and I got married, seeing as we were joining two families we decided to involve the kids in the ceremony. We like many other re-married couples with kids, wanted to show it wasn’t just about the two of us. It was about ALL of us.
After searching through all of the possibilities, we decided on using a special picture frame that held sand. Each of us would have our own color sand to represent us.
The big day came and the kids and we took turns pouring our sand into the frame. Kaylin first with her usual pink, followed by Josh’s “Mario” red. Jenny came next with her favorite color green, and I completed it with my favorite blue.
Once we were done, we had created a PERFECT and beautiful pyramid of sand.
Soon after we were officially a family, and went to celebrate with family and friends.
As the celebration wound down, I spotted Kaylin carrying around the frame, except now instead of the perfect pyramid it was a big jumbled mess.
Me: “Kaylin, what are you doing?”
Kaylin (with a super innocent face): “Mom said I could mix it up.”
I looked over at my wife
Jenny: “Yeah, it’s fine..”
Me: “Okay, Kaylin, just be careful with it, don’t let it break”
I walked away very frustrated. I had loved how it looked and the symmetry of the lines. It was going to look gorgeous on our mantle. For a brief instance I thought we could do it again. Then realized the significance of doing it would be lost.
As time went on, it sat there on our mantle, still missing the rest of the sand and in its big mixed up state.
I’d glance at it and some of the frustration would return.
Then one day after we had been through another one of the family challenges life had thrown at us, it hit me.
This mixed up state is exactly what being a family is all about. In our case it’s 4 different personalities, preferences, attitudes and beliefs all working together.
Sometimes we’re clashing or revolving around each other in what I believe is best described as controlled chaos.
Then there’s the incredibly awesome times where we’re blended together so strong that we’re super bright and vibrant. We’re more colorful together than we are apart, and we create colors, and joy that some people would never think of.
So after almost a year and a half later I finally added in the remaining sand. A little more of Kaylin, a smidge more Josh, a helping of Jenny and a healthy amount of myself. Then I shook it up really well to come up with a unique pattern that will never be duplicated but so aptly reflects all of us.
I don’t expect the sands to stay in the same place and have no doubt that as time moves, and we change that it too will change. We’ll have our messes. We’ll have our perfection. We’ll have our jumbled states of chaos and happiness. Most importantly we’ll have what’s most important, an amazing family built on the love God has for us, and the love we have for each other.