14 April 2010


So, it's been a pretty busy couple of weeks.

Lent and Easter are over now. I'm kind of glad to see the end of this Lent, because I fell down and broke the Lenten promises so very many times, and I'm glad to have a break from feeling like a loser. It was a tough Lent in that sense, for me, this year.

The kiddies just went back to school after Spring Break, and Curly was especially unhappy to go back. He was lucky enough to get two weeks this year, since he's in preschool, which had their Spring Break the week before Moe's and Larry's break. And since we had planned to go out of town for that break, he got them both. Lucky him. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth over breakfast. But, everyone's back where they belong....Capt America is back to flying the friendly skies, the kids are at school, and I'm at my computer desk. All's right with the world.

I have had occasion this week to really examine some sides of myself that I'm not so proud of. When I married Capt America, I instantly became of a mother of sorts. The worst sort, the evil stepmother (insert wicked cackle here). It's been a good ride, so far, almost 14 years later. Like any ride, there have been ups and downs. We had a major down recently, with my stepdaughter, as in the kind where she hasn't directly addressed me since January. She's not really talking to her dad either. I really hope and pray that changes. But for the most part, I'd have to say I've been blessed in the bonus kids department.

And just for the record, I really hate using a qualifier....I don't view them differently than the children I carried and gave birth to, why do I need to call them a different name? Kids? Stepkids? No difference to me. Truly. I get that they already have a mom, and it's not me. But I still maintain that I've been an integral part of their lives and participated, however indirectly, in their growing up experience. I have loved them the best way I knew how, and tried to be a positive influence. We met when I was 23 and they were 11 and 9. I have never intentionally tried to take their mom's place, or be anything to them other than a good friend. I'm afraid if I don't use the "step," they will think I'm trying to take over and be their mom, and if I do, I'm distancing myself from them. I've never gotten a straight answer out of either of them as to how they feel about it. I'm pretty sure I know how their mom feels about it, and about me. If I were to end up in the position, through one means or another, of a single mom, and had to share my children with another woman, I'd like to think I'd be grateful if she loved them and was good to them. Maybe I wouldn't though, you never really know how you'll handle something until you're right there in it.

In any case, suffice it to say that there is some tension between the parental figures in my story. Last week was a big occasion in the oldest one's life...a couple of big occasions actually. B received his commission in the US Army, making him a full-fledged officer, a Second Lieutenant. Very big stuff. AND, he got married. Ran off to Vegas to make things legal before his wife (still sounds kind of weird!) must be away for extended period of time. We knew that they were going to do this, and there is a big church wedding in the works, upon her triumphant return. And I thought I was ok with all of it.

As it turns out, I'm not. They had said all along, they only wanted it to be the two of them, no family, they wanted family to come to the big church deal. At the very last minute, they changed their minds. There was no possible way for any of us, whether just Capt America or the whole family, to get out to Vegas on 24 hours notice. They said, don't come, so we made other plans.

But his mom was able to get out there.

And I'm jealous.

Let me be clear, I don't want to be there instead of his mom, heaven knows she's his mother, of course she should be there....I just want to be there too. I wanted to watch them promise forever. Oh, I know, I'll get to see it in church (where it belongs, but I digress...again), but still. That jealous and insecure part of me has really been making a lot of noise over this. In my heart, I know that B's mom is wrong when she says that B and L don't like me very much but they put up with me because she raised polite and considerate kids, and for their dad's sake. In my head, though, there are times that doubt gets a toehold.

B and I have been close. We got off to a rough start, I'll grant, but after that, we have grown close. He calls and texts me, he says "I love you" to me, and he says it first as often as I say it first. He told me before he told Capt America, his dad, that he was getting married.

I'm pretty bummed out that I didn't get to go to his wedding. And frankly, I'm a little put out that he gave us 24 hours notice, and was upset and disappointed we couldn't make it. Especially since he knew we had been planning to come until he told us not to. But, it's over and done, and let's face it, I'm a grown up. I'll get past it. I am already halfway there....I love writing things down, it gets it out of my head and off my chest.

So....am I now a mother-in-law, or a step-mother-in-law? It's a matter of ceramics.

No, semantics. That was supposed to be a joke.

No pun intended, I don't want to step on anyone's toes, but I have a feeling that no matter how I refer to myself in this context, it's going to get under someone's skin. But there is nothing that will keep me from their *real* wedding, in church, and watching them promise each other forever, all over again. And I'll be there in any capacity he wants me to be.

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