Monday, February 2, 2015

My bonus child

My "Bonus" kid 
One of the most challenging relationships I have in my life is the one with my step son.  When I say challenging, I don't mean bad.  It's just that as a step parent, I am constantly walking that proverbial "tight rope" or walking a fine line that I have to be careful not to cross.  It is, thus far, the hardest thing I have done in my life.  But it isn't without reward.  I love this little boy with my whole heart.  Logan came into my life when he was only 9 months old.  For a while, until his dad and I married, I was kept at arms distance from him, and it was hard to form a close relationship with him.  As time has progressed, things have gotten so much better, but it can still be hard.  And when things get challenging with him, my mind floods with all of the things I wish I could just explain to him, but don't, because at six, he would look at me like I grew another head when I was done with that conversation.  And also, I don't think it's anything he could begin to understand until he is a parent himself.  But if I could sit down and have that conversation with him, here is a bit of what I might say:


I never planned to have you in my life.   When I pictured my white picket fence life, I will be honest, you were never a factor.

I guess you could say you were a pleasant surprise in my life.  You didn't get to pick me, but I got to pick you.  When I chose to be with your dad, I chose to be with you as well.   And I don't know if you would have picked me, but you're stuck with me.

I do love you, so so much.  And I do consider you one of my kids.  But it isn't the same.  And it isn't the same for you either.  I wish I could say it was, but it is a different kind of love.  I didn't feel your every move inside of me.  I didn't know you before you ever took your first breath.  I didn't get to watch you take your first steps, or see the love in your eyes the first time you said "Mommy" and know that it was meant for me.  In fact, I know that love is meant for someone else.  I know that it isn't me you want when you are sick, or hurt. I know that when you come to our house, it is your dad that you're excited to see.  I have heard the comments about things being better at your mom's house, and I'm sure for you, they are.  And even though it stings a bit, they should be.  Because nothing is better than your own mom.  And I'm not her.  Nor will I try to replace her.  Just as I know my other childrens' step mother will never replace me.  I would never attempt to hurt your mommy like that.  There would be no greater pain.  I know my place.  Believe me, there are several people that like to remind me that certain decisions are up to your parents, and I know by they way they stress that word, that I am not included in that equation.  Don't get me wrong, sometimes it hurts.  Yes, I can admit, that as juvenile as it sounds, that even as an adult, I do get my feelings hurt.  Just as I'm sure that unknowingly, I will sometimes hurt your feelings.  Most days, I hope for the best, and pray that you just won't end up resenting me, but what I really WANT, is to some day have you look at me as someone you know you can trust, and someone you can count on, maybe even call me a friend.  Your triumphs, and all of your victories, I will have to cheer from the sidelines while your "real" parents get recognition for raising such a good young man.  By the same token when you mess up, (and you will, because you're a kid!) I won't get blamed!  You will be with your mom every Mother's Day, on your Senior Recognition Day, it will be your mom you give the rose to, and it will be your mom you dance with on your wedding day.  And I will cheer silently from the sidelines, still wanting you to succeed, and watch you soar.  And I will hurt for you when you hurt, knowing that more than likely, it isn't me you will come to for comfort.  But just know that if you do, I will be here waiting with open arms.

Cinderella ruined it for us step moms.  Because of that story line, step mothers have been viewed as evil for years now!  And I, like many others out there I'm sure, are extra conscious of making sure that we aren't viewed as the "evil step-momster".  There is this impression that we treat our children so much better, and the step child is pushed to the side and pales in the light of our natural children.  This is not true.  Most step parents I know spend time trying to make sure that they don't do this, in turn, walking on eggshells, or actually catering to the step child.  Every other weekend, we have to try to win you back over.  And by the time you finally warm back up to me, and start letting me back in, it's time to go back to your other home.  However, I know by catering to you, this isn't doing you any favors.  I tell your dad this, and I tell myself this countless times.  But sometimes I still find myself doing it despite my own advice.  I'm human.  I mess up.  And if you bear with me, I will bear with you, and we will figure this out together.  See, this is new territory for the both of us.  I have never been a step mom before, and you have never had one.  So this is a journey we will go on together, and we can learn from each other.

But just because it is a different kind of love, and a different relationship, doesn't mean that it isn't a special one.  The beauty of it is, there aren't any certain boundaries we have to have in our relationship.  We get to define it on our own.  So let's make it a great one.  Only you and I can decide what our inside jokes are, or what our special memories will be.  Just as I said earlier, you are a bonus kid in my life, and I can be a bonus mom for you.  And I promise to keep trying my best, as long as I walk this earth.  Because after all, that's what moms do for their kids.

Mommy Cora


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