A note to stepmoms everywhere

I Think We Stuck The Landing

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There have been a few wonderful barometric moments with the kids lately. We’ve had opportunity in connecting with them camping and fishing, and then I had a little sample of them on my own with my husband gone. It’s neat to have a chance to do a mental wall-mark for how their personalities are growing. They are really turning into their own people, and I have a unique viewpoint to be able to gauge what they need next.
That being said I will start with the middle child. I know this is out of sequence, I understand how that whole “order” thing works. But she had really been doing very well. She’s joking a lot more, she’s more willing to play with her younger sister and doing so much better about arguing, insulting others and being bossy. She’s finding her place, finding who she is and finding her security in that.
We’ve begin starting the always pleasant talks about how she should be aware of her surroundings, be ready to protect herself and not listen to what other people say, especially when it makes her uncomfortable. Aside from self-defense 101, she’s doing great in cheer leading and often teaches the other girls. It’s a huge boost for her confidence and patience. I see her with them and she’s really becoming a leader. She’s also reading a lot more and that is helping her conversation skills.
She still thinks it’s funny to be lazy, and that absolutely refusing to do things is somehow endearing, but I believe she will grow out of that. She has grown out of the things that made me so fearful for her future. She is her own person.
The oldest child got a very early start at “self-knowledge”. Most of the work with her is discussion and maintenance. But she’s ready to move on to disappearing into her friends. She is very ready to get back to raising money for Africa, and she’s pretty determined to get back there next summer. If we start soon I think she will make it. Everything just fell apart this year. She is super excited to be in high school, and has a new haircut to prove it (she chopped her long hair and just got her braces off). She a new girl with a new beginning. I’m excited for her. We’ve had a lot of talks and I feel like she trusts the anchor she has in us.
Then there’s the youngest. She keeps pushing to try and be included with the benefits of her sisters’ ages, but without the responsibility. She can’t figure out why it’s not working. We finally broke the “reading is lame and being stupid is cool” attitude that she adopted from the kids at school. She’s been proud to read and is reading much faster. She likes going to the library because it’s a taste of freedom. There’s now a positive connotation to reading. Then while we were fishing, she saw turtles in the lake. She loved them and wanted to catch one. While we fished, she took her shoes off and spent hours in the much, trying to catch a turtle. When she got one she was so excited she almost cried. I wanted her to be able to keep it, but the logistics of keeping a turtle on a camping trip is complicated at best. I thought that a turtle would make a good birthday present. I was skeptical before of her ability to keep a pet, she regularly forgets to bathe, brush her hair or teeth, and flushing the toilet is a mystery. But she is really maturing and I think it’s time. She’s negative and skeptical a lot, and someone her age shouldn’t be that way. I will keep working on that by correcting language and being excited about her accomplishments. She loves that. But she is really turning into a little person and growing out of acute little sister syndrome. She’s improved so much, even just over the summer.
So with the new and improved kids, we are all mentally prepared to conquer the school year. It’s gonna be a big one.
I’m not excited because they’ve driven me nuts all summer and I want them out of the house, I’m excited because they all have a new beginning this year. And they are all more ready than they’ve ever been.


Author: Jessie Henry

Reinventing my life and enjoying my adventure. Living life as full as I like with no apologies, loving all of it.

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