Many years ago, when I was 20, I became a stepmom for the very first time to two little boys who were 18 months and 3 years old. Their dad, who had already been married before, convinced me that I just couldn’t live without him or these adorable little boys. I always wanted to be a mom and this just allowed me to get a jumpstart on that.
The boys would come and visit us every other weekend and once throughout the week. I bonded rather quickly with them and loved to play with them. Over time our time together increased. Fast forward a few years and the boys were living with us pretty much full time. It was certainly a full house with 4 boys (we had had two since getting married), my husband, me, and a dog all in 1400 square feet!
I always knew my role as a “stepmom”, but over time with the boys always there the lines slowly blurred together. I was the one that shopped for their birthday and Christmas gifts. I was the one who baked the cookies they enjoyed eating after school as well as the one who attended IEPs (the oldest was special needs) and parent teacher conferences. I was the one who potty trained the kids, cleaned up poopies, wiped snotty noses when they stayed home sick from school, and even volunteered in their classrooms. I was their number one cheerleader for them at sporting events and all the other activities they were involved in. I was pretty much “mom”, without the title. I did it all for them and I loved it!
Deep down I knew these boys weren’t legally mine, but they were part of me, and honestly I was mom to them, without the title. When they needed something they knew that I would be there. Some of my favorite moments were holding them reading stories or playing video games on the couch with them. I would do anything to protect them, I would put their needs above my own, and their happiness was my number one priority.
Overtime, my husband and I changed… We tried to work through some things, even went to counseling, but it just didn’t work out and we decided that it was time to move on. Leaving the life I had worked so hard to build was one of the hardest decisions I have had to make in my life, but I knew deep down it was the right one.
After my husband and I separated we made the decision to keep all the kids together through the rest of the school year. I still got to see C & C all the time, help them with homework and continue to share that special bond we had formed over the last 9 years together.
The day came all too quickly when it was time to say goodbye to video games on the couch and sharing homemade cookies after school. Me, being terrible at goodbyes, promised them that we would still see each other all the time at their brother’s sporting events and other activities, and that they could come visit me or call me whenever they wanted.
At first we saw each other all the time, but overtime it became less frequent, conversations became shorter and more fictitious and love seemed to slowly dwindle.
I will never forget those sweet little boys, who are now 16 and 17. I still remember their precious smiles the first day we met and how they could both light up a room with their sweet spirits. Thankfully, Facebook shares these memories with me occasionally! I can’t help, but wonder what they are up to and how they turned out since we last sat on the couch and snuggled and ate cookies. I wonder if they think of me and miss me like I miss them. I am only left with all the memories we made so many years ago and I just hope that I made a difference in their life, like they made in mine so many years ago.
~C & C if you ever find this, know that I still love you, know that I am always here for you, and that I think of you often. If you ever need me, I’ll be there…