I am a mother. A sort-of-step-mother. I say “sort of” because J and I aren’t married, but really, all that doesn’t matter because I’m helping to raise J’s daughter, and that makes me a mom.
I met little A shortly after she turned 2. J and I had recently begun dating, though I’d known him already for a while, and he would often share photos of A and their adventures with me. I was nervous to meet her, nervous for how she’d respond to an important person in her dad’s life when she’d never known her dad to have a girlfriend. (J and A’s mom were never a couple.) Would she resent me? Would she think I was trying to replace her mom? Would she think I was fun? Of course my worries were immediately put aside, and A and I formed a bond of our own.
Now, A has been in my life and I have been raising her as a daughter for 2.5 years. The ups and downs and the overwhelming love I have experienced cannot be put into words. Nothing can prepare you for becoming a mother, and you can’t fully comprehend until you are one. Raising a child forces you to be completely unselfish and makes me want to be a better person. I have marveled at the incredible thoughts that come out of A’s mouth. I have comforted her tears and given lots of hugs. She has taught me to be more patient. To go a little slower in life. To notice the flowers, the smells, the sounds, the everyday things that usually go unnoticed. Hearing her laugh puts an instant smile on my face.
Until I met A, I wasn’t completely sure I would have children of my own. I went through a phase thinking it might not be what I wanted. Maybe I’d just have a partner and we’d live our lives together, do lots of traveling, and that would be it. But now I know – the joy a little one brings into your home cannot be underestimated. It’s not all sunshine and roses – oh there’s been hard times. Hard times where J and I will get frustrated and sometimes take it out on each other. But those good times, those marvelous times, override any tough times, and make being a mother wonderful.
So on this Mother’s Day, A, when you read this in 10 years, thank you for entering my life. Thank you for making me a mom.