So we had our first official family-of-6 meeting a few nights ago. As with any SL family, there comes the time after an adoption where you’re out of the bright-shiny-omg-this-is-soooo-happening phase and start transitioning into the “Oh hey, we’re actually a family now” part. And I think that for a lot of families, that’s when things kind of fall apart. They want the bright and shiny new feelings constantly and that is simply not possible. And truthfully? You shouldn’t want it to be. Because the part that comes after is SO much better. But it’s also the part that requires a bit more work. And yes, making a true family in SL does require work. It requires you to put time into it and it requires you to be able to talk things out when necessary.
Aldwyn and I are the type of people who like a lot of communication when something comes up. Good or bad, we want to be able to talk things through. We were having some growing pains as a family, so [after an urging from my sister!] I mentioned to him that we should have a family meeting. Naturally he was all for it, so when I figured out a night we’d all be online, I told the kids we’d be sitting for a chat that night.
Okay. *laughs* I don’t know WHAT goes on in other SL families, but despite the fact that I told the kids several times that this was not a BAD thing and that no one was getting shipped to Heritage afterwards, I could just FEEL the tension as we were getting settled in. My sis told me to expect it, but I just didn’t. I figured me saying “hey, we’re just talking, everyone will still be here after the meeting” was enough. But they were tense and I could feel it.
Then came what I’d like to call the MEETING FROM THE PITS OF HELL.
I’m totally kidding. *laughs* It was really good, actually. We brought up our schedule for May [so many parties!], I had a chance to tell them some things I personally need for a bit more balance, and they brought up some things that they’d like to work on as well. And I’m really lucky that I have the kids that I do because they didn’t make me feel guilty at all for needing my late night alone hours back and that was something I was definitely struggling with. They get stories and wind down time and our attention in the evening, and I get to know that I will have some time to myself or with Aldwyn after we send them to bed. Pretty win win!
So that’s kind of a behind the scenes look at a tiny part of what goes into family life in SL. I know a lot of my readers have mentioned to me that they love reading about my family and things we do because it helps them decide on whether family life in SL is really for them or not. I’ll be the first to say that it does take some work. The shiny and new feelings are what draws people to adopting or being adopted, but that part doesn’t last forever. It can’t and truly, it’s not supposed to. You become a family. You have different happy times. You, hopefully, spend enough time with them to share in fun experiences. And yes, sometimes you aren’t thrilled with how something is going and you need to fix it. But if you’re very lucky, your family is willing to listen to you so you can find the balance that makes family life just that much better.