We met about eight years ago, give or take, but it seems so much longer ago than that, like worlds of time and seasons have passed and changed. You were the new woman in my daughters’ father’s life, and none too welcome on my behalf if I’m to be honest. I didn’t know you, I only knew the position you held in my family, and it was a position that needn’t be filled as far as I was concerned. Things were rather ugly between him and me at that point, which didn’t help matters between us. What can I say now other than that I was younger, dumber, angry, and hurt. None of that was yours. It never was.
After years of the girls living with just me, there came a time when I had to call on their Dad’s assistance, as you well know. I had begun dating for the first time in years, and our youngest daughter was less than thrilled, to put it mildly. My sweet baby girl seemed to have turned into an angry, rage filled child almost overnite. She wasn’t used to sharing my love with anyone other than her siblings, and she was letting me know it. Harshly. It was Summertime, and I called on her Dad for help. The two of you had a baby now, and I thought maybe some Daddy time and a chance to meet her little sister would do her some good. She went to stay with the two of you, as you all had recently moved out of state to a neighboring one, your home state. She was there just long enough to settle her heart, and came back transformed back into her former self, her sweet, precious self. I was appreciative of her Dad’s help, knowing it had been just what she needed. Yet she got something else she needed, too. Twice the love. She came home with stories about spending time with you and her new little sister. She came home with clothes you had bought her for school, one outfit she loved particularly and wore religiously. I think it reminded her of you. She got to see that Dad also had moved on with another person, and that she wasn’t losing either of us, but gaining even more love from our loves. My icy feelings towards you began to melt away in her contentment, where I was slowly realizing she would from here on out be not just mine, but our daughter.
A couple years passed and along came teenagehood for the eldest. I watched her go from a happy-go-lucky little lady, to a lost, hurt, and confused young adult, as if almost overnite. Feeling frightened and alone, I called on Dad again. He immediately offered his support, and together we made a plan for her to go and spend some time with you all, her other family, to finish out the school year, which had only just begun.. It felt much more permanent than the Summer visit my other daughter had taken previously, making it was one of the hardest decisions of my life, but one I knew I had to make. Watching my girl pack up her things and move away was hands down the most heart breaking moment I’ve ever experienced. Her Dad was great to me, reassuring me she’d be okay, he’s her dad, and he’d take good care of her. Yet the person who really got me thru the transition came from the least expected place. It was YOU. You had the feminine insight I needed, the womanly way of comforting me that helped me so tremendously. You understood my pain as a Mom, and thereby, you single-handedly carried me thru hell. You didn’t have to do that. Yet you did.
Because over time, we had begun talking to each other more like civilized people, and less like psychotic bitches, heehee. Really though. Nothing can bring together two mothers like a hurting child, or ANY child, for that matter. There’s a bond that mommas share together that no other group of people can know. That bond connected us. We had similar Hearts.
As you and I talked more in those few days surrounding her initial move, we got to know each other better than we ever had given ourselves the chance to before. We were so alike in so many ways, and your comforting words literally helped me through the hardest transition of my life to date.
You and I discussed all the “woman” stuff as it pertained to our girl, things better left unsaid with Dad, like birth control for instance, haha. But, we’re MOMS. And that’s what moms do.
And it slowly began occurring to me, like it had occurred to my youngest those couple years before.
I wasn’t losing my daughter.
She was simply gaining Another Mother.
And really, if you could get two of anything in this world, two moms would be choice pick.
Just knowing you would be there brought me comfort. Knowing that not only would she have her dad by her side, but also that she’d have YOU there. A mom. A woman. I was so appreciative. As I write this over a year later, I’m even more-so now.
We have all been through a lot since then, and you have been there every step of the way. Our girl has bounced back and forth a few times now, always one to keep us on our toes. Knowing your presence is there is the hugest relief to me when she’s away. Your existence brings comfort to my hurting heart, and I am grateful. You’re not “just there”, either. That would be EASY. No, not you. You get rite in there with Dad, doing the hard shit, playing the “bad guy” when you need to, or when he needs you to, or when she pushes you to that point herself. You do that because you Love Her. You don’t have to do that! I know many people in “step parent” roles who are just as happy to stay out of things when they get hard, making it That Much Harder on the parents and the kids. But that’s not where Real parents go. Real parents, real spouses & significant others go straight into the muck of it all! I’m in that muck myself, and I’m so comforted to have her Dad and you rite in there with me! I can’t tell you what a Solid Human Being that makes you. What a Solid Woman you are to their Dad, and what a Solid Mother you are to my kids & your own. You even have her back when she needs you to, when Dad “doesn’t understand” things that I would as a mom, and you do, like hair styles for instance, wink wink. You not only discipline & lecture & yell at her when she needs it, but you supporther in my absence, too. All the things I wish I could do rite now, you Do. There are no words for all the feelings, but these are the ones I can muster.
For our past, I am Sorry.
For our Present, I am Grateful.
& For our Future, I am Excited.
This is a Love Letter.
Because not only do I Thank You a million times over, but I LOVE YOU a million times over, too.