You always hear people say “They say this, or They say that”, and I often wonder who this they person is and how exactly they know so dang much! Truth is, I am a they and you are too. One of the biggest things “they say” is to write what you know…which according to my husband leaves me not much to write about, but what does he know anyhow?
Truth is, my husband is actually quite supportive as of late, he was impressed seeing my blog, and the emails from step-moms all over either asking for advice or simply thanking me for starting the Facebook page. Even though I give him a lot of flack, we both know, he knows, I’m pretty smart and knowledgeable in a few things, one of which is being a mom.
Growing up in the south, St. Mary’s Georgia to be exact, everyone knew JC James, which really was Jessie, but with the southern drawl it came out “JC”. When I was four years old, I moved there with my grandparents because my grandfather was stationed at the local naval base in Kingsland, GA. Everyone went to the same church, the same grocery store, the same school, and so on. For as much as everyone knew about everyone, I don’t recall ever being asked by anyone, where my mother was, or even who she was for that matter. To be honest, I don’t recall if I ever questioned it either.
Until a few years back I harbored great resentment towards her, for abandoning me, and not stepping up to the plate as a parent. Actually for years before that, I even believed that the stories I heard, the letters never received, birthdays missed etc, were all because of some grand misunderstanding that would one day be cleared up and all would be forgotten. Then, one day this little dreamer, woke up and realized the only misunderstanding was the one I created out of hope. That’s where the resentment part came to play.
Holding my daughter when she was only a couple weeks old, and going over every tiny perfection, falling in love with every noise, every tiny wrinkle, every single detail she possessed, I couldn’t for the life of me understand why any woman would walk away from their child. In that moment, I made a vow to my daughter and myself to never be anything like the woman, who was nothing like me. That was almost ten years ago~ and I have succeeded.
Over the years, I’ve had two conversations with the woman that gave birth to me, over the phone, and they brought me to two conclusions. First is that the best thing to ever happen to me, the most fortunate experience of my childhood was this woman walking out and staying out of my life, because she did me a great favor – by not staying and completely ruining both of us. The other is that she never had any business being a mother – as she was battling demons that would never had allowed her the functionality or understanding of caring for another. She did of course create and give birth to me, which I am thankful for, their are other choices she could have made.
They say children born into broken homes, create broken homes, instinctively. They also say, those born into broken homes create protective homes and reverse the cycle. Personally, I like the second They’s better – much more positive in my opinion. See for me it is pretty simple, if you don’t like it, change it. No one decides who you are going to be, not the They’s or me, only you! If you ask me that’s a set of pretty great odds, a bet I would take any day.
Am I a perfect parent? No way in gods green earth or the fiery hells below am I anywhere near it – BUT, and its a big BUT, I am a damn good note taker. My husband says I am the best mom, when he thinks I can’t hear him of course, or when he is defending my honor to our “beloved” or not-so-much Bio-mom of our son. I’m sure it tweaks her to no end to hear him say anything of the sort, but in my own defense I do have seven years more experience in failing and prevailing as a mother than her, and ten years of maturity by age alone – lets not go there now though! Maybe that’s where they say its takes a village to raise a child comes from. I was raised by a village, and now a village in a sense is raising my stepson.
You have to figure this little man has three sides of family involved in his upbringing – the math alone on that could create a head spin! He has his mothers side, his fathers side, and my side. He gained a brother and sister, aunt, uncles, and many friends that have turned into family from me, and then the normal aunts, uncles, grandparents on both mom and dads side. That’s a lot of people! Think of it in terms of Christmas, birthdays, this little boy has it made in that department, and you know every set of family is over-compensating for the broken home created by mom and dad or circumstances of such. That’s another story for another time.
The main importance I know is that this little guy is happy, well-rounded, loved and adjusting normally – and I can assure you he is loved and cared for. But, I think we all know that well-rounded can be a struggle when being raised by so many different people, with different ideals, morals, backgrounds, beliefs – not to mention the underlying resentment of a step-mom loving another woman’s child. You do realize that to many, this is an offensive crime, punishable by tar and feathering, even hanging I am sure in some areas. In the post office of our local town, I am sure behind some random paper, there is a bounty on my step-mom title, and step-mom head. (It would be a really high bounty I know, because I have a pretty great step-mom title and head too).
Truth is, well they say the truth is, kids are blessed to have more love, than not enough, more family then none, and more parents than one, these days. Since I like these statistics, I must agree with the theys in this matter as well. So far the theys have it!
Being in my early (very early!) – okay early mid thirties, I’ve never have called a woman mom, or felt like I had one until marrying my husband. I never knew how it felt to come home and lay my head in a mothers lap, and have her run her fingers through my hair, like I do my daughters. I never knew how it felt to come home and cry in arms that accepted me completely, that created a safe place to simply unravel. I never knew what it felt like to have someone be proud of me, to tear up when I got an award, or was caught doing something small yet monumental. These are all moments that I have with my children, I know how it feels to be the mom, to hug, to hold, the pride and unconditional love that exists between them and myself – but I do not know how it feels to be the child. That kills me still to this day to never have felt that sense of contentment, belonging, to be unconditionally loved by anyone. And, I simply refuse to allow that pattern to continue for my children, including my step-son.
He is a blessing to me, a gift there was no way of creating myself. His heart is genuine, pure and I will be damned if anyone treats him as anything less than he deserves. I don’t want him being thirty years old and questioning whether he ever made anyone proud, whether he was wanted, loved or important. I want this little man to grow up to teach his children that love knows no bounds, no bloodlines, no limits – and that every person deserves to be loved by another. What we teach our children now, we are also teaching our children’s, children. At least that what They Say.