Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Only real people.

The mother of a friend died recently. He was pretty bummed about the situation, understandably.

Some other people in his life, however, thought that it really wasn't a big deal. Because she was only his step-mother.

I don't have any step-parents. My parents have been married for a staggering 39 years. To each other. My husband didn't have any children when we got married and, despite the fact that people in North Carolina said he must be either gay or a pedophile because he reached the ripe old age of TWENTY-FREAKING-SEVEN without the benefit of marriage or children, he never managed to have any with anyone else.

But he inherited Boy and Girl Child.

I don't like to think about the fact that someday Jason and I will be old. I don't like to think about the fact that someday my children won't be little children anymore. They will grow up and move on and have families of their own. I will, God willing, someday be a grandmother.

And Jason will be a grandfather.

And when Girl Child walks down the aisle, if she so chooses to walk down the aisle, Jason will be the one who walks with her and gives her away. He will be the one who says, "Her mother and I".

And when Jason dies, someday a long, long time from now, Boy and Girl Child will grieve for the father they have lost.


It amazes me how many times the step-parent is the one who is there every single day; packing up lunches and drying up tears and helping with math problems. The one who puts aside money to send the kids to college. The one who sacrifices so that the child can go to camp or get braces on their teeth. The one who lays awake at night, worried when they don't get home on time. The one who prays they will find the right person to marry. The one who picks up the pieces the first time they have a broken heart.




The one who is "only" a step-parent.

31 comments:

Kimberly said...

Amen.

My grandfather was my mum's step-dad, but neither he nor she ever acted like that. She didn't get half the sympathy his natural children did when he died.

kristi said...

To me that just sucks. My friend is a step parent and she has helped her stepkids so much. But she gets no respect.

Betsey Booms said...

I understand this on so many levels. My dad is my step-dad and my husband is a step-dad. It's such an important roll.

And my best friend is a step-mom and her heart ached so very much to be considered a mother and she never was.

Mean Stepmom said...

(Grabbing the Kleenex) Gah, chick! Why you gotta make me cry, huh?
I wish stepparenting was all that way, where the sacrifices are duly noted and appreciated, but it's not. Maybe one day things will change, but right now? Stepmotherhood is not very rewarding. In fact, it's rather like hell on earth at the moment. I hope Jason has a better experience, I really do.

Robyn said...

I have never referred to my Dad as a "step-dad" (even though that was accurate before he adopted me).

Indeed, he walked me down the aisle; he waited at the hospital while I gave birth to my son -- HIS grandson. And he tells me all the time that my son has HIS good looks!

And he never calls my sister his "real" daughter, either.

Karin's Korner said...

I could not have said it better. I am a step mother and although the children do not live with their father and I, we are still close. They tell me their secrets and I keep them to myself. We laugh and cry together. I also had a step grandfather and to this day..he was my grandpa. I never saw his as anything else.

giants fan said...

so true!

people think "step" is a bad word.

Kim said...

Well said!

Cris said...

Nice post. Even though my children's biological father is still involved, their stepfather is very important and I know they will have the same emotions for him as they do for their dad.

Allie Bear said...

Agreed!

I am Trish Marie said...

Thank heaven for those people who are "only" a step-parent. I get it that there are some step-parents who never truely accept the children, but then there are those special others. The ones like Jason, who really need a special title. 'Cause step-parent isn't doing it.

the planet of janet said...

*standing up and applauding wildly*

thank you for this.

i am "only" a stepmother myself, yet i am more mother to this child than her bio mom will EVER be.

amen.

the Yearning Heart said...

oh chick, you slammed this one over the left center wall. I am living this life right now. I never thought I'd be a parent and now, all at once, I have three boys.


I am a stepmother, and I approve this message.

Angie said...

My friend, my friend. . . you truly nailed this one to the door! I don't have steps -- in my house, or in my family -- but I have no doubt in my mind that Jason is every bit as much your kids' DAD as the next guy.

. . .sperm donor aside, of course.

Seriously -- this one rocked.

Mike said...

Loved your post. I'm a step dad and my wife is a step mom. Three teenage girls between us. All I ask for and all I give between us is respect. We become a family within a family.

Kellie said...

My step-Dad was a part of my life from the time I was 3 until I was 26. He decided to no longer be a part of my life and my heart still aches (it's now been 4 years). He was always my Dad. I have two Dads. My step-Mom? She's not "just" a step-Mom. Am I as close to her as my Mom? Sadly, no. But, she's not "just" a step-parent to me.

:)

Tulip Girl said...

Being a stepmother does not make me any less of a parent than my stepson's bio mom. If something were to happen to me, he would mourn that loss as he would if something happened to his Dad. I am sad that there are those whose minds are so small they cannot grasp that there is love in blended families...sometime more than in traditional families.

imsilentnomore said...

My step-mom is the best in the world!! She has been more of a mom to me than my own mother. And right now when hubby and I are going thru the loss of our only income and needed a place to stay, my step-mom was right there to help us out.

And she is grandma to our kids. I have always thought that she is the best step-mom in the world!

Cricky (Who Is More Than Just A Girl) said...

I'm only repeating what everyone else has said. I am a step-mom. Kelly lives with us and has since she was four. Recently we attended an event where she introduced me as her mom and then later told a girl that she had to go to her bio-mom's house that afternoon. one of the other mothers says to me "oh so you're only the fake mom". Bitch please.
I am the mom that wipes the tears, kisses the booboo's, checks the homework, cooks the food, and tucks her in. There is nothing fake between Kelly and I.

Lisa, your biggest fan said...

Chick:

Thank you for this. Really. I needed it today. I hate the term step mother. I hate it. The worry I feel, the countless dinners I make, they are not step worries, its not step food. When my son reaches out to me cause he is hurting and he needs comforting, its not step comforting I give him. I give him my love, each and every day, fully. Its not step love, its full on, heart wrenching, busting out proud love. He is my son. I am his mother. Nothing step about it.

Anonymous said...

I think every step situation is different. It's cool that Jason is so involved. It may help that he doesn't have his own biological children. My stepmother came into my life when I was 23, and has not been cool. She hasn't included my brother and I in a lot, but her kids are, and that's pushed me and my dad apart. It's like his stepkids are his new family, and it hurts.

Nen said...

right on.

Birth Sister Doula Services said...

I suppose it all depends on the stepparent. Mine? not so much.

My stepmonster (dad's wife) is an alcoholic with an 8th grade education and holds grudges like you wouldn't believe. I'm 34 now, and she'll decide she's mad about something that happened when I was 14. When she dies? Party time.

My stepdad announced that I didn't exist when I was 12 - shortly after he married mom. He refused to talk to me, spend any $ that might contribute to my upkeep, help w/ homework, etc. When my first son was born 11 years ago, I gave him a chance to be different, and thank heaven he seized the opportunity. When he dies? I'll be very sad.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

That was very well said, S, but you also have to remember not all steps are good to their stepchildren. I've known many kids who were worse off for having them.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

You said it, sista! Just because there is no blood connection, some people just don't understand how any connection can be deeper, more cherished. And those people? Drive me nucking futs.

Miss Burb said...

my "step" mom (I just call her mom) was more of a mother to me than my birth mother, or any of the other women my dad married. When she passes, I'll be devestated.

she's the only mom I've ever had, the only one whos been there unconditionally, even when she didn't have to anymore. she's my real mom.

stepmomof2 said...

Great post! Sadly I can identify with this all too well. Why should being a stepparent be any different than being an adoptive parent? By being a stepparent, we choose to take on a roll that someone else decide wasn't important when in reality it's one of the most important roles that anyone can ever have.

Priscilla said...

Except Jason is NOT a step parent.

He's their dad.

Legal or not, makes no difference to the heart.

Bethany said...

Amen, Chick, amen.

had enough said...

OMG this post hit home, I am a stepmom. although I do more for my son then his bm, i still could not go with him to his mother son dance.

KiKi said...

People are idiots. As my friend broke down in tears because her mom had a stroke and she was worried about recovery, another friend asked, "But why are you so worked up? She's old."