One of the greatest pains during my divorce was realizing that I would lose my connection with my step kids. I had developed such a love for them.
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Many years ago I became a stepmom for the very first time.
The boys were 18 months and 3 years old. Their dad 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. My husband, me, and a dog all lived in 1400 square feet!
I always knew my role as a “stepmom.” Over time with the boys always there, the lines slowly blurred together. It seemed to happen that I shopped for their birthday and Christmas gifts. Baking cookies for after school snacks became the norm.
Attending IEPs (the oldest was special needs) and parent-teacher conferences fell into my job description. I was the one who potty trained the kids and cleaned up poopies. My clothes were for wiping snotty noses.
When the kids were sick I stayed home with them. Volunteering in their classrooms became one of my favorite things! Cheering for them at sporting events and all the other activities was my favorite thing to do.
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. They were part of me though, and honestly, I was a 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.
Over time, 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 to visit me or call me whenever they wanted.
At first, we saw each other all the time, but over time 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. 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. There are times that I wish we could sit on the couch and snuggle and eat cookies again.
Do they miss me like I miss them?
We are only left with the memories we made so many years ago I hope that I made a difference in their life because I know they made a difference in mine.
~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…
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Michele is a Family Life Educator. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!