So tomorrow is Friday. Big deal. I had a moment this week. It was a moment of trying to let go and move forward. Those are a little gross sometimes, occasionally you step in the mud. Going forward is never easy.
Raising a family is a lot of work, and it’s more complicated when the family is not quite yours. You do the manual labor and trip over yourself to balance out the public relations between 2 households. It doesn’t seem as rewarding as actual parenthood. There’s no “hi mom” at every event, no hugs, or “I love you”. You are present at holidays, but not remembered, except for being in the kitchen.
There are little things. I keep little momentos of their lives, and they think that it’s amazing I care enough. They tell me things that they can’t always tell anyone else. Dad is a guy, and mom might not appreciate it. I do my best to hold in all of my reactions and not act like anything is a big deal, like not having a “our little girl is growing up!!” moment when the middle child got her monthly this summer (TMI). I know that’s key to having their trust.
I didn’t want this whole “stepmom” thing to be it. I was more than just the lady who cooked and cleaned and drove everyone around. I was more than the nanny, than the live-in maid. I had a hard time with thinking that this was enough. I started trying to volunteer for things, I started this blog, I started trying to reach out and make deeper connections with people. Well, at least this blog worked!! I can’t believe how many people are reading this!!
Well anyway, after all that stuff that was supposed to make me feel like a “real girl” fell through, there was still a house to run. And a couple teenage girls who need help through this sick, sad world (Daria reference). I had a long talk with one of them today. I had a chance to have a deep, meaningful conversation about how to ask someone if something is wrong without making them think you’re weird, things high school boys will dump you for, and lots of talk about her trip to Africa (she went last year with her dad).
She got a little choked up at the end of the conversation and cried a little, and then her mom came to pick her up. She hurried up to wipe away the tears and picked herself up before walking out the door. She only let me know about that little moment.
It was hard to let go of those things. I wanted to make a difference, I wanted to make friends. I wanted to be a person outside of my house. But I came home and there was a person here who needed me to talk to and had no other options.
I had to step up and work hard. And now I have to step forward and leave some things behind. I hope there’s no mud on my shoe, I don’t want to track any dirt where I’m going. Even if I don’t know where that is.