I left in a bit of a hurry when I moved out of my parents house.
Embarrassing huh? It was pretty brutal. I took some time this week to pull out my boxes and reorganize them (OCD much?) and found some of my old childhood report cards. And finding things a little stressful lately I have to admit that I broke down (again) and cried.
There were comments from teachers (volumes actually) that the trained eye or my adult eye could hone in on. Things like "Lori likes to keep to herself" or "Lori is a gifted and talented writer..." wait a second... I zeroed in. There it was in the report cards from grade two and three and four and six (apparently we lost grade five in transit)."Lori is a gifted and talented writer who has a depth of expression that surpasses her age. We would like to discuss additional learning that would challenge her to develop this talent."
In response? My Mom simply signed "Terri ****". No comment. No acknowledgement just the minimum required to send the report card back I suppose.So I guess I cried first because these teachers had acknowledged me. And then I cried because if you read between the lines, these teachers also had a sense that things were pretty volatile at home. And then I cried because even when my potential was pointed out, it didn't matter.
I didn't matter and that much was clear.
It must really suck to have super smart, talented kids... no wait! Isn't that what most parents want?!
When I am with my step-sons I praise them. Not for everything (although Kevin said I do 'sucky-baby' them a little too much). I don't really agree with Kevin about that. If you fall and hurt yourself you should be wrapped up immediately in the arms of your Step-Mom and hugged until you stop crying and then something should be done to make you smile again. Whether that is to take out the crayons and colouring book or whether that is a small Reeses Peanut Butter cup.
Dude, it's my job to lovey dovey them. They are only going to be bitty boys for so long. :) <3 p="">
I have challenged my step-son's to create stories. Logan is particularly good at fiction and I encourage it. Verbal is stronger for both of them right now than written, but their writer-nerd Step-Mom is going to be working with them on that. When I helped Megan her grades soared. I haz good teacher skills (as long as you don't ask for help with algebra... dear Lord).
Am I going to spend my whole life saying "this is what my parents didn't do and this is what I'll do better!". Nope. That's kind of bitter right? Instead I am going to thank God that he put something in my heart that told me it SHOULD be different for kids. That I know the difference. That despite my childhood experience I know exactly what a good parent is and I am one already.
The boys have a loving Mother (Stephanie) who is about to deliver her fourth (and last) son. A sweet woman that has worked to develop a rapport with me that is kind and generous and very cooperative. My goal from the moment that Kevin and I knew we were in this for life... was to create a seamless life for the kids. Yes they will have two houses and four guardians but ... there will be no divisions. Just more love. More hands on deck to provide for them and care for them. Protect them and nurture them.
And the kids are our treasure and our responsibility. And having wanted to be a Mom my entire life, there is such a swelling in my chest right now of love for them. These are going to be my boys too, and I get to help raise them a little differently than I was raised.
They will be challenged to grow. They will be supported to improve themselves. They will be acknowledged for their strengths and they will have our wisdom and guidance to work on setting goals and achieving them. They will be great little men because our values line up. Loving, solid, strong little men who will not be afraid to fail or try new things with a zest for life and learning everything. Adventure.The Momma Bear is coming out in me.
If these report cards belonged to Logan or Lucas, I would be writing volumes back about how proud we were of them. I will be asking how we can help nurture their strengths and interests. I'm going to be the Step-Mom on class trips, baking cupcakes with Stephanie (their Mom) and taking them in. More love... never less. Always love and a foundation of strength that they can grow from.
And when our boys are a little older and they are "launched" and on their journey to be men, Kevin and I have talked about adopting from Mexico. A little black haired and brown eyed girl to dote on, probably 4-6 years old. Truthfully Kevin having so many nieces has warmed to the idea of a daughter too someday. And giving a child a good home and a happy life would be it's own reward.
And I look forward to having a full table every holiday. Kids bringing home their laundry from College for me to do and munchkins to cook for over the years. And all the things being a Mom that I thought I might never have, I will have in my life (it just took a different path).
Am I less feisty these days? Mellowed perhaps. Matured. No longer approval seeking externally I guess. My happy is just around the corner and rather than waste time in angst I just... embrace the mystery of God's plan for me. He has a funny sense of humour. I said "Husband, business, two kids and two dogs and a house by the age of 40". Turns out just on time... I just took a longer road to get there.
PS: My step-son's think I am super cool because I love video games and I make really really really good meatballs. Also, because I like fishing which is pretty cool for a girl apparently. :)
Did I mention I'm madly in love with them too? The bad guy will definitely be Kevin I think. They swing that Texan charm at me and I really... can't deny them anything. Especially when they say "Ma'am"" in those little voices.
God I miss them. Soon... soon Nerd Girl.