Wednesday, May 7, 2014

To be a step mom on Mother's Day

"An early Mother's Day present Mommy Chris!"
What does it feel like to be a step mom on Mother's Day? I would imagine it feels just like being a regular mom, only a bit sadder, and certainly more lonely. But the desire to be recognized is still there. To be rewarded,given the extra hugs and kisses and stacks of homemade cards (I already have a small pile). I do all the same unending, unrewarding, thankless mom stuff as the rest of you 'real' moms. I also get all the amazing, priceless, unspeakably beautiful things - the sweaty snuggles, the stolen flower, the breathless 'I love you'. I feel like a mom. I know I'm not their 'real' mother. I know I could not replace her, nor am I trying to. I'm their 'Mommy Chris', which is something different and special in its own right. I could not possibly love them anymore than I already do, regardless if they were "born of me" (their words) or not.

This year I'm blessed to have them with me on Mother's Day. I know it's just a Hallmark holiday, but I couldn't be happier, or more excited. My mom - Gramma Vicky - is making a big family dinner, we have church together in the morning, I get all the snuggles and sweet words that come with Mother's Day ON Mother's Day. Rarely in the life of a step mom does it work out that well. Christmas presents are opened later, birthday candles blown out early. We move things around. We make it work. But those special days are always a bit empty without them. There is always a bittersweetness when they are gone. I, we, have learned to live with it. But it's hard. On all of us.

So yeah,I'm excited I get to pretend we are a 'normal family' doing 'normal family things'. So much of the time I feel so glaringly not-normal, especially as a woman in the church (that's a topic for a whole other blog post - I'm not even going to touch it here), not having my own kids, my own family. Would I like to have babies of my own? Of course I would. But God has already given me three beautiful, healthy, talented, amazing - I could go on - children to call my own, and who am I to doubt his wisdom in the matter?

I love those children with a fierceness I didn't know I had, and I was pretty fierce to begin with. All those things my mom told me about being a mom? I feel them, I own them. I am a mother. So I'm claiming Mother's Day. For the rest of the step moms out there feeling like, is this my day too? It is if you want it to be. My family may not be biologically mine, but they are mine nonetheless. A tribe of love that God himself built. That's as beautiful a picture of motherhood as any other.

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