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 mommy is very 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 step mom. I want their dreams to come true. I want their success and happiness to follow them wherever they go.

And yet…

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 a vintage pearl 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. So, she made a ring that connects us.
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.

Celebrating Life

I’ve started this post so many times in my head, but it never got anywhere. Between prescription runs, child drop-offs, working, and party planning – not to mention being emotionally and physically exhausted – I haven’t had much time.

But we did celebrate life. We celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday. She made it. Despite the toocloseforcomfort call, I got to see her smiling face at 17. I swore THIS year, I would not cry on her birthday.

Because last year?…… Sixteen? WAS SO HARD. I cried a contact right out of my eye in the Hallmark store trying to find a card (Dang you! Hallmark!).

I just knew seventeen would be easier than sixteen, and the age itself is, just not the events leading up to it.

We were in such a shock state this past week. Everything was autopilot and scary. There were many emotional battles I faced – from being angry at the driver of the truck that hurt my family – to cringing at my husband’s cries of pain and worrying about my daughter’s hand. Worrying when she drove, and especially worrying when we were all in the car together.

I hadn’t planned or thought of her birthday at all. But at the last-minute, I took Friday off to get a pedicure with her after-school and do a little surprise birthday planning which included picking up her sisters from school and having them overnight.

What a surprise it was when she got home. And yes, she laughed. We laughed (at silly, fun decorations). Because life is sooo precious and laughter is sooo healing.

Justin Bieber Rockin' Party

Party decorations for Sydney’s 17th (yes, she does LOVE Justin Bieber).

My 17yr old daughter

Seventeen years young and absolutely gorgeous!

Justin Bieber Birthday Party

Two of our very VIP guests. My beautiful step-daughters.

Partyin'

Molly gets into the decorations and has a ball being a mini-teen (just like her idol sister). Note- outfit in above pic complete with phone in hand.

Little Sis Smiley at the party

Bridget, the youngest step-daughter, always gives me a smile no matter what she does. The smile lollipops are for Justin Bieber’s song, You smile, I smile which also played at our wedding.

Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Sydney’s favorite cake…..Cold Stone Chocolate Chip Cookie dough…….HEAVENLY!

Sydney saving her breath

Another year, I will never forget.

Sydney shows her Birthday card

Birthday card by Molly. Complete with her favorite animal the Cheetah. Isn’t that the cutest thing??

Sydney and her boyfriend Brandon

This is Sydney’s sweet boyfriend Brandon. He did the best job wrapping a gift for her and picking out cute stuff. I was very impressed!

Sydney 17 with her step-sisters
All the girls on Sydney’s birthday.

It meant the world to me to have them all together for Syd’s birthday (I really can’t thank their mom enough to give them up on her weekend). I kept counting them, looking at them, and hugging them. We had this wonderful night to celebrate life and give thanks for our family…. truly amazing memories.

Our lives may never be the same, but we are all here and we celebrated that.

Today, Mother’s day, was also incredibly special; being mom to Sydney and getting to spend the day with her. It was also my first year as step-mom, and although I didn’t get to see the little girls, I have them in my heart, along with every precious moment we have shared.

My heart is so very, very full.

Celebrating every second.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend.