And. . . (*deep breath*) I'm a Step-Mom.
Hmmm. . . so I guess this blog is not going to scream 'encouraging!' when my opening statement sounds like the introduction one might make at a (court-ordered) appearance in an Anger Management meeting with a focus in the arena of Kitten Fetishes, or Narcotics Anonymous. But, if I have learned ANYTHING from watching 'Fight Club' repeatedly (seriously ya'll: REPEATEDLY. I really cannot stress this enough.), it is SEVERAL things:
1.) Helena Bonham Carter might be one of the strangest, loveliest women on the planet.
2.) All NA, AA, MAD, etc. type meetings ALWAYS serve coffee. And it is okay if you smoke. (Though it IS frowned upon at the Sufferers of Tuberculosis meetings.)
3.) I am NOT my f*&^ing khakis. (This one is SO true.) I don't even like the way my butt looks in them. At ALL.
4.) I think Edward Norton is JUST SO MUCH BETTER than Brad Pitt in that movie!!! (I must say, I feel a bit guilty for even writing that.) But I just love Ed Norton SO MUCH MORE than the traditionally hunky (and BUILT) heartthrob. Of course, it could be the fact that Mr. Pitt cheated on his wife. (Done that girl WRONG!! . . . WROOOONG!!!) I don't care that he cheated on her with She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I don't care that she's breathtakingly gorgeous. So what? You made VOWS, dude. (And, just for the record, I think you'd make a really shitty knight.)
. . . I guess I'm just one of those people that REALLY loves movies, and when I go, I like to be able to completely suspend reality for the time that I am there. And even though he is gorgeous and actually CAN act (though I was never TRULY convinced of this until I saw '12 Monkeys'), I can't really do that, or enjoy the experience, if I am constantly distracted by what a screaming pile of turd-monkey the main character is. Through extensive discussion with peers, I am almost certainly alone in this line of thinking. It does not appear to be the general social consensus among straight women of a certain age. Curious. . . So I am forced to wonder about why this is. . . But different thoughts for different days. Moving onward!
And so it was only after a while that we decided it was time that I should meet them. (It's so strange to think about now, but when Michael and I had JUST started dating, there were several times when I would talk to him on the phone because we weren't seeing each other because he had both of his boys over that weekend. =) I didn't begrudge him for it at all. Boys need strong male figures in their lives, and Michael is one of the most honest, decent, and deeply KINDEST men that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.
So I met Devin first, because he got to come see his dad more often (because his mom lives closer).
I still remember walking into the loft (I had actually DRESSED UP to meet a not-quite 2 year-old!) in my long, billowy, ankle-length white dress. Official Reason for Wearing the Dress: It was very hot outside, and its spaghetti straps allowed for cool comfort. ACTUAL Reason for Wearing the Dress: It made me feel all swirly and ethereal and charming. And that is EXACTLY how I wanted Devin to see me. (I was TERRIFIED!!!! What if I didn't LIKE him??!? WHAT IF HE DIDN'T LIKE ME?!?!?!! As it turns out, I had nothing at all to worry about: for the first half of the evening he just stared at me, and for the second half, after he realized that I would play with him, he COMPLETELY took advantage of the situation. =)
But there was no escaping the fact that it was (for me, at least) a situation fraught with possible perils and disasters at every turn. And yet we persevered, and continued on our path. Because we were each just enough of a realist to know that. . . it most likely wasn't going to be easy. But it was sure as hell going to be worth it. =) And hey--- We were in love. <3
When I met Cana, Michael and I had driven to Montgomery to pick him up from school. He was just 12. And the cutest, skinniest kid I had ever seen. (Michael always called him "Minnow.") The three of us went to Taco Bell and joked around as I AGAIN tried to get over my terror of "What if he doesn't LIKE me??". But it turned out that he was a pretty chill kid, easy to get along with, and with a dry sense of humor that I TOTALLY appreciated. So we went to see 'Casino Royale', and a few months later, after Michael had proposed to me, the three of us stood in our kitchen while Michael asked Cana, "What would you think about us getting married?"
. . . And I held my breath until he answered, in typical pre-teen Cana fashion, "That's cool."
(I am Jack's Enlarged Sense of Self Satisfaction.)
So step-moms sometimes get a bad rap. And maybe it takes a special type of person to do it properly. 'Properly' here, meaning: with love, patience, and the ability to sometimes have really thick skin.
So though I love all THREE of those boys with every bit of my heart, I am NOT going to pretend that this step-parenting business is easy. Because it is SO NOT.
But it is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE. It's hard, and it's head-achey, and fun. And it is SO MUCH WORK.
AND IT IS SO MUCH WORTH THE WORK AND THE EFFORT!
And even when I want to strangle them or tie them up by their toenails. . . how unbelievably lucky I am to have them all.