Star is an active member of the poly community and beyond. She writes articles about poly life in her family as well as advocates for alternative choices in other communities. Her work has opened the minds of people across the globe on accepting and celebrating differences of others. Her talents are widespread, not only does she write for a parenting website, educates 2 of her 5 children at home and is one of 4 parents in her household, she also loves to spend time sculpting, designing websites and helping others with spiritual guidance.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Are we sure we brought enough Building Materials for this project?

This edition is entitled "Are we sure we brought enough Building Materials for this project?", because each year on Winter Solstice, we dedicate the year to a new phase of relationship building. This year, we dedicated to Framework. Last year was Foundations, and the year before that was appropriately named New Beginnings. Because of the "Build the Relationship like a home" theme, I will periodically refer to those themes as I write my articles. I am hoping that I can go into more detail about the actual parts of these relationship building ideas either in future articles, or on the forums.

This is month three for Our Little Tribe's cohabitation period. We have noticed that the Honeymoon period has waned to a manageable dance of active participation and periods of each member having vulnerable days and strong days. The support from each one of us for the group has been close to what I could describe as phenomenal. We have hit rock bottom and pulled each other through some really hard emotional stuff to find out that we stand together, united on the foundations we started last year, as we begin the build the framework for what will be the home of our family.

Through the last few weeks, our family has been faced with many opportunities to explore our vulnerabilities, our strengths and our ability to work through difficult issues as a team. Every relationship has different dynamics which either hold them together or tear them apart. I am always reminded that while our family is certainly different than the ones we grew up in, we do have the tools and the love to keep improving on ourselves to help the whole family continue to grow and improve. This last month proved that we will continue to build the framework for our future, as a team!

I have to be honest, it was hard. It was darn hard! At times, we all wanted to yell and scream at each other, at the kids and at the world as a whole. Some parts of the last few weeks pushed us to look in the mirror a lot, to look at our own intentions and find out why we were acting the way we were toward our son. Sometimes, we had inner dialogue with ourselves and questioned if this was all worth the work. Sometimes, we cried in each other's arms at the frustration that was presented to us. Sometimes, we cried alone, as we worked through our own issues. We all had to face them. Childhood memories, teen age crap that we all thought we had grew past or gotten over long ago, were suddenly put right in our path and we all had to deal with them on different levels. If we didn't, the outcome could have been messy. I am proud of each one of us, and how we faced those inner monsters head on to realize that we were the ones making life so hard on ourselves. It is really hard to face those monsters and choose to find a different perspective which makes the whole of the situation not only understandable, but also a life lesson that we can use to help guide our sons into adulthood with. It's still hard, but in a relaxed, loving and selfless kind of hard. The kind of hard that makes us want to keep going and know that all this work is worth the end result - a very strong family and home for ourselves, our children and eventually grandchildren, as well as our friends and other loves and the souls who are connected with them.

Each of our children has chosen this time as the end of their excitement and began their own "test of time" for the newcomers to endure, experience or enjoy.

Our 19 year old daughter, Luna Frog moved home temporarily a few weeks ago, after her boyfriend asked her to move out of their shared apartment. This move was not discussed between the adults, and at first was met with some trepidation and feelings of being left out from two of our family members. I had failed in communicating clearly that Luna Frog or any of our children were always free to move home if they needed to, as this is a safe harbor in the storm for them and their home. I will not bend on that choice. It isn't negotiable. We raised Luna Frog to be an independent young person, who never stays here for long, when she needs to have a safe place to be, a warm bed to sleep in and good food to keep her healthy. I don't think we will have an issue about any of the kids moving home temporarily, in the future. At least not Luna Frog, but I did learn that it is important to expect the unexpected and talk these things out before they become issues, so we are all on the same page.

The Teen gave us all a run for our money this month as he tested his boundaries and tested Mr. Music and Miss Fiction's love and stamina - even though we know this wasn't a conscious act, we do know that it was part of the reason he gave us such a hard time. The Teen has been working through many phases of abandonment issues since his "adopted father" (my ex - BM) and I were together. BM has issues with communicating with his children when he is away, and this has added to The Teen's abandonment issues. Because of this, The Teen tested the new formed family to see if we would all stick together and the new members would still be here for him, no matter how "bad" he was. The Teen not only found that we would all still be here for him when he pulled his head out of his rear, but also we stuck together to find positive solutions to help The Teen through this very difficult growing up period of his life. Being 15, almost 16 is hard! We all stood by him, even when we wanted to lock him in a closet until he is 25, instead we sent him off to a safe environment, to stay with some family friends, out in the mountains to collect his thoughts and allow us to regroup to find a more positive solution to all of the crazy stuff that has been going on with him. After many days of just resting and getting caught up on some much needed sleep, we took a few more days to not think about The Teen's issues. Individually, we were able to think more clearly about possible solutions, and when we came together to talk about it, we found that while each one of us had different ideas about what we could do, when we put all the ideas together, it formed a complete plan! Friday, Mr. Music and I loaded Little Aries out to the mountains to play with our friends' little girl, to bring The Teen home. While at the mountain house, we discussed his new schedule and expectations, of which he listened to with great excitement. He had ideas of his own and was able to express to us what things he realized he messed up on - such as lack of respect to himself and his family - and had some ideas on how we can help him grow up easier. We have yet to sit down as a family group to complete the discussions, but that is only because we have such a busy schedule this weekend, that we are having a difficult time trying to find some time for all of us to be together.

Little Aries gave us all a bit of frustration in his own little way of testing the waters. He has had the most difficult time with Mr. Music's parenting style - and since this is Mr. Music's first parenting experience, he is still learning how to use some of the tools he has used for years with adults, in a whole new way! Sometimes, Mr. Music questions his ability to parent and I can see his frustration. The only thing I can do is support him through this process and encourage him as he learns to balance the fun interaction with parental responsibilities. Little Aries isn't making this transition very easy for Mr. Music, just by being his normal 7 year old 4th grader Aries self. I can empathize with Mr. Music a lot! It isn't easy being the parent of a 7 year old genius, even with 21 years of parenting experience. I would imagine that the task seems daunting for Mr. Music at times.

As we end the first three months of cohabitating and enter our fourth month together, I am hopeful that everything will begin to settle down and into a soft dance together, where we can each grab our tool bag and keep building our section of the framework, and help each other out as we are needed. Anyone seen my hammer?!?!?

Star is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Star ; January 23, 2007


folks have read this article.