Mother’s Day is a busy day for us because we are blessed to have a lot of moms in our lives. We’ve talked a lot on this blog about how our grandmother’s inspire us and we have talked about what our awesome mama did so right in raising us, but until now we haven’t given our stepmom, Jill, the spotlight. And let me tell you, she deserves it.
Stepmoms have it hard from the start. They come into your life with their Pocahontas drawing skills and as a bratty 7 year old you demand their artistry be put to use immediately as a sort of test to entry into your life. When they kindly demure, you insist that they are no longer allowed to sit on your dad’s furniture. And still, they persist. They prove themselves to you for years in an attempt to build the same kind of natural bonding that occurs instantly with your own mom at birth and is cemented in early years by acts of infant and childcare and love. Stepmoms probably don’t nurse you from infancy to your waddling toddler years, but they nurse your creativity with hours of art classes. They cook endless tortilla pizzas and plain spaghetti with parmesean cheese dinners and pretend to like the tea you serve them and they let you use their antique heirloom pots to serve it from. Despite spending exhausting years of raising their own kids everyday, on the days that you come to their house, they welcome you excitedly as another of their own. They didn’t have that kind of love for you from birth, but they grew it.
They welcome you into their wedding ceremony, and make it clear to you that your dad is a part of a package deal, and you will not be forgotten. Then when he has to work on the weekends you come over, they take you to Barnes and Noble and let you sit and read for hours in the young adult section with a hot chocolate and peace and quiet. They struggle sometimes when all you can talk about is your mom: how she sings and she is so pretty and she rubs your back the right way. They laugh along good naturedly when you tell them how similar they are to your mom, because they both have brown hair and are teachers. Divorces are hard and the wounds they create heal slowly, reopening from time to time, and they stand by their husbands through it and try to do their best along the way. Maybe they mess up and at times, the lines aren’t clear- they try to find them. They watch their husbands fall deeper and deeper in love with you over the years, while they work on their marriage to keep it strong. All along, they find the good in you and remind you of it. They introduce you to their family as more family, and that’s how it is. There’s a word for it, “step”, but at some point they smile when the one introduces the other as “sister.”
Stepmoms have it hard, but they also have it good. They have a relationship with you that is strong in its own way. They aren’t your mom- you already have one of those, a damn god one at that. But they’re special. Happy Mother’s Day to all the stepmoms out there, especially our own.
Jill, we’re so thankful to have had you in our lives for the past 20 years, and the next umpteen years to come. We love you.