I spent thirteen years in a family that hated me, so I was a titch nervous at first, but it was in a park with lots of room and activities so I was in my element. I didn't have to worry about the kids not being quiet or me not being demure; we were supposed to frolic and, as you may know, that's our specialty.
His family is pretty average, spanning the range of society from Tracy's family to my dad and his yuppy friends. They are, for the most part, very friendly and accepting. No one even mentioned (at least to me) the age difference or pointed out that I have a teenager.
There were only a couple of times that I had to bite my tongue or avert my gaze and they were much more minor than I was expecting. I have some, uh, lets call them unorthodox, beliefs, especially pertaining to parenting that I understand are outside of the norm and his family lives very much in the norm so there will certainly be areas of disagreement. Luckily, on first impression day, none of those surfaced. Because we have been friends for so long, I know quite a lot about his family, but since we've only been dating for a month or so it would be odd for me to know everything I do, so I had to feign ignorance on some things. That only became a real issue for me once when a person (actually only on the fringe of the family) was making a very good first impression of his own and I wanted to throw a big nuh-uh into the conversation, but had to keep my mouth shut. It's not my battle anyway, but still, I wanted to be an absent person's advocate and couldn't. :-(
I was worried the kids would be bored or not engage the other kids, but they really had a great time! I am so proud to be their mom and it's nice when other people get to see how great they are. Levi played football, whiffle ball, washers, and climbed on the play structure. He only asked to get his book once and that was when we were first getting out of the car! Paige immediately ran off with Taylor (Doug's little sister) and her friends and played in the sand volleyball pit, in the water sprinkler/fountain thingy, climbed the play structure, ate cake off a plate like a dog, and, basically, just got to be herself.
Photo Credit: Kathryn Fishman-Weaver
I didn't bring my camera or even phone, but Kat (Doug's long-time friend) took this one of her son, James, Paige, and two girls from Taylor's softball team. Paiger was the youngest one there, but held her own just fine.
So, overall, I think it went swimmingly. Doug reports that I passed initial inspection. Whew!