Dear Stepdaughter

Right now you are 12 years old. You are are as kind and intelligent as you are beautiful. I hope that never changes about you. You have an intellectual innocence about you that makes everyone want to be friends with even if your popularity status doesn’t feel like it right now.

Give it time. If my experience on Facebook can offer any solace, it would be that time erases popularity status. The people who you aren’t necessarily friends with now can turn into some of the most fun people you keep in touch with in 15 years. You never know.

I wish we both had a crystal ball we could look into to predict the future. I’d love to know if you’ll be a French pastry chef like your 12-year-old self aspires to be. I look forward to seeing if and who you might marry and any children that may come into your life.

I hope children come into your life. You would make an excellent mother. Even at 12, I can tell. Don’t be afraid to take after your stepmom and marry a man with children. You would be a great stepmom. Believe me. It takes one to know one.

Speaking of parenting, I will warn you: In the next 10 years there will be times that we won’t get along. You’re going through things, I’m going through things. So long as we know it going in, we’ll make it out alive.

You’re bound to hate me several times before you head off to college and I’m sure there will be times where it will be hard for me to like you. I speak from experience that this is absolutely normal.

I hope by the time you grow up that my incessant need to preach practical organizing advice will sink in. You don’t know it now, but you’ll be glad someone dispensed all of that useful information.

If I could offer you one piece of advice right now at this very moment it would be this: be kind to your brother. He looks up to you in a way you won’t quite comprehend until you have children in your own life. You’re his hero and he wants to be just like you when he becomes 12..and 15…and 20.

Despite what your father says, go to college for what you love, not necessarily what will make you lots of money. You want to love what you do, not do it because you have loans to pay back. Your father was lucky with his chosen profession. I wish you luck that you find a similar love.

Speaking of loans, I know you think that every one of your friends’ parents are buying them cars for their 16th birthdays. They’re not. All parents say that to their kids. You’ll appreciate my Honda in four years because it’s paid for and has all of the amenties you need.

I know your childhood hasn’t always been easy. You’re a real trooper and you don’t get enough credit for that. I wish I could write this to you in a real letter except you’ll probably think it’s incredibly dorky and would be too embarrassed to read it.

Maybe some day you’ll find my blog and read this post and others like it and understand why, at times, I was upset or mad at home, why I needed to be alone and away from everyone else. Being a stepmom hasn’t always been easy. Not because of you or your brother but because of circumstances beyond our control.

You’re falling asleep right now watching Paris Hilton’s New BFF, a show none of us can stand except you. You’re going to need to head up to bed soon so that you can start your day all over again tomorrow. But for now, sleep tight my sweet step-darling. Sweet dreams.

Love, Your Stepmom

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on January 12, 2009.

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