Tuesday is a landmark day in the life of Reba McEntire. There’s no album release, she doesn’t have a major show slated and it doesn’t appear that she’ll be receiving any awards. Still, she’ll be observing the 20th birthday of her only biological son, Shelby Blackstock.
He’s at an age which is difficult for a lot of parents — no longer a teenager and beginning to set out on his own. He’s at the beginning of adulthood but already has created a load of memories, and Reba’s been vacillating between looking forward and looking back as her son approached the milestone.
“Shelby has brought us lots of years of joy, lots of years of laughter,” she says. “He’s a funny guy, and it’s just a very curious thing. And I know all parents do this — you just sit back and wonder, ‘What’s he gonna be like in five years? Where are they gonna be?’ He’s in college now. You don’t know from day to day, is that gonna last? Where are they gonna be next week? Are they goin’ to class? All kind of things, so it’s just one of those things where you’ve got to stand firm on what you tell ‘em to do but also sit back and see how they react and be patient, which is very hard for us to do. But it’s pretty cool.”
Shelby is a freshman at the University of Arizona. Meanwhile, although he’s the only child that Reba gave birth to, she did inherit three other children when she married Narvel Blackstock in 1989. While the rest of the world tends to focus on Shelby, she’s quick to point out that Narvel’s other offspring — Brandon, Shawna and Chassidy — have a big part in her life.
“Everybody calls ‘em stepkids,” she says. “I call ‘em mine.”