A Letter to the Mother of my Step Children
I know I am not the perfect step-in parent for your children. I make mistakes. I misjudge. I get frustrated, confused, and conflicted. It's a tight wire balance of being too close and being too far.
I don’t want to overstep my boundaries. And yet, I sometimes lose track of the rule book. I don’t always know what to expect. And even when I think I do, I realize how far-off the beaten path I really am. I manage the best I can for them. Not necessarily as another parent, but someone who loves being in their life. Someone who cares for them, because I care for their Dad. But, I fail. I try. I fail. Then I brush myself off and hope you can forgive me.
From the first moment I met them, I wanted them to know I could never replace you, nor would I want to, or seek to. I have always felt that way.
I remember seeing a plump two-year old baby about six years ago. I wanted to scoop her into my arms and gobble up those chub chub cheeks of hers. Instead, I waited and watched, until she felt comfortable with me. It took more than a year.
At the same time, I met a precocious, wiser than her years four-year-old, spitting spunk and sass. I wanted to take her hand and run off into the land of make-believe. Instead, I told her how mommy is magical and I would never have that magic, because her mom is special like that.
I want to guide them as much as I can without making waves or being a disciplinary figure. On the same note, I want to keep them safe. I want to protect them from the big scary world. I have the heart of a mother, but the mind of stepmom. I want their dreams to come true. I want their success and happiness to follow them wherever they go.
I am only a small part of their world. You are their caretaker, guide, and example. You are their lifeline, their planner, and the one who tucks them in. Your soul is part of those two little bodies. Even when it is not your weekend, you are very much part of their every second with us.
And because you are so much part of them? Two little people I adore… I adore you just as much. I appreciate you more than you know. I can’t imagine life without you, your ex, and those precious little people I get to hug and worry over.
So please know, although I mess up and forget to remind my husband of holidays, birthdays, and presents. Although, I don’t always reach out, in an effort to keep in, just know I hold your family dear to my heart. I am always here. Trying my best and admiring the hell out of you.
Thank-you for our two little stars who I get to watch grow into lovely young ladies. Thank-you for sacrificing so many things to give these kids a life with both parents taking part. And thank-you for your kindness in letting me be a small piece of their great big world.
This year I did not let Mother’s Day slip by unattended. I planned and I hope you love it as much as I love your two children. This is for you. I thought it might last longer than flowers or chocolate.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Drawing for Dad by the youngest daughter. I love how she didn't quite get us holding hands. To make up for that she puts a circle between our hands to connect us, too. From the mind of a beautiful seven-year-old who wants her family holding hands. So sweet.