I know that I didn’t give birth to R & M and I would never claim them as my biological children. They have a mother, they have that person who gave birth to them and shares their blood. I don’t and I know that and I’m reminded of that daily. However, I do love those boys as though they were biologically mine and I do consider them mine as well! I do parent them; I wash their dirty underwear; I make them meals; put band-aids on; help with homework & projects; get stains out of shirts & jeans; make them clean their rooms; listen to them talk about their day; I buy items because I know they like a specific snack; I think about what foods they like & don’t like when I cook meals; I pick them up from school & practices; I buy them clothes and shoes,; I pay for registration for extra curricular events. In all senses of the word, I am a parent to those boys. Do I do it full-time? Nope! Do I get the lows & the highs of parenting? Absolutely!
Just the other day I was thinking about the boys and everything that they have brought into my life! Basketball season started recently for R and I absolutely LOVE cheering for him and his teammates! It doesn’t matter to me whether he makes every basket or gets every rebound or that they even win! I want him to be present on the court & give it his all, all the time! I am so proud of him for being out there every season doing the work to get better!
M is currently taking horse riding lessons and just started 4H with an emphasis in horses! I love this for so many reasons! When he’s with his teacher and Hobart, his horse, you can see the happiness and content in his eyes and body language! He takes lessons weekly and I think it’s great therapy for him! I also love it because it’s something that really, only I do with him. Usually, I am the one that takes him and picks him up for lessons. I am the one who pays for them every week. I am actively involved with him in the 4H club! This is something that just I share with him and it makes my heart so happy!
There are so many highs of being a step-mom and yet, there are lows that I struggle with daily! When people ask me if I have kids, I say that I have 2 boys and yet, I have a nagging sensation in my head that I must clarify and say that they aren’t biologically mine and that I am their step-mom. I’m the third parent and I would be lying if I said that it it isn’t hard sometimes. It’s hard to put the boys first, their happiness & health first, but to be placed third. I guess that is the true definition of parenting being “selfless”.
The joy that the boys bring me everyday is unmeasurable. The ache that I have inside to see them and hear about their day is daily! The fear that something would ever happen to T and that they would be ripped from my life leaves me in a panic attack. Being a “parent” or step-parent, as it would be, is the most challenging and rewarding experience of my life. To know that the boys have accepted me into their life is worth more than any amount of gold! I plug through being a step-parent day after day, month after month and continue to strive to learn from each day and each experience! I know that I won’t ever have it completely figured out and I’ve come to grips with that! But, the truth is I’m always Learning As I Go!