To my stepson’s mother

I would like to apologize for catching you off guard and making you feel threatened or uncomfortable the day we ran into each other at the store.  A few months earlier I had invited you to coffee over email in order to avoid such an outcome, and you chose to ignore me – I can understand why you would have felt too uncomfortable to accept.

For someone who doesn’t know me, in retrospect, I can understand why you seemed offended when I approached you at the store.  It was a surprise to see you in front of me in line and so I wasn’t prepared to talk to you – but in the moment I felt the coincidence was a sign for me to reach out to you, especially since you looked back at me at least 3 times while in line.  I had the best intentions to have a constructive conversation, but it was painfully obvious that they had backfired.  I suppose my opening line should not have been, “Have I done something to offend you?” – I might as well have painted a bulls eye on my blouse and handed you a few darts.  Perhaps it is confusing for you to understand that a stepmother would want to reach out to a biological mother for the benefit of the child and the family.  Perhaps this is due to the weakness of your character.

What you need to know is, I understand, as a mother, what it is like to be concerned about those influences your child is exposed to which are not under your control.   You are obviously concerned, or you wouldn’t behave so rudely toward me.   I also understand that merely being around the new wife of your ex husband is not exactly comfortable.  I only wanted to attempt to ease your mind with regard to whom your son spends time with.   My son has a stepmother, and I have never treated her the way you treat me.  I am polite and cordial, same as I am with you.  As far as I know, she respects my role as the mother and is good to my son – that is all I care about.  That is all I should care about.

I think your son is a lucky boy to have two parents who love him and are involved in his life.  I have no intention at all of interfering with yours or parental relationship with him. – I don’t believe that is right and that is not who I am.  I believe all children are a gift, and I care about him a great deal.  I would never share my life with someone who did not love and care for my son, and I hold myself to the same standard.

I’m not asking you to be my friend.  I’m not asking you to like me.  I am aware that you do not ‘owe me anything’.  But do I hope one day we can be cordial to one another for the sake of your son.  I hope one day you understand that it is not okay to act like an a**hole anytime you feel uncomfortable or threatened – I hope this is not the kind of role model you want to be to your son.

It is not necessary for you to act as if I don’t exist, when I’m standing right in front of you.  It is not necessary for you to roll your eyes, glare, or scowl at me when I’ve been considerate each time we’ve crossed paths.  It is not necessary to make up horrible stories about things I’ve supposedly said and done, just to validate your insecure feelings about me.   Your husband and your ex-husband are cordial to one another.  Your husband and I are cordial to one another.  You are the only one who acts like an immature high school snob.  You act like you are better than everyone around you.  You make your son uncomfortable.  You make other adults uncomfortable. Grow up!!

You need to realize that you make your insecurity painfully known by treating someone who has done nothing wrong to you with such disrespect.  If you know you are a good mother to your son, you shouldn’t have to be concerned with his relationship with his stepmother – obviously you have doubts.

I will not stop going to your son’s sports games.  I will not stop supporting him in anything he chooses to do.  And I will not stoop to your level of immaturity and insecurity – instead I will continue to act with grace and maturity – your son needs to know those are the virtues of the right kind of role model.

A word of advice – you might appear a little more attractive and less constipated if you removed that permanent scowl from your face.  And since it takes less muscles to frown than it does to smile, you might save a little money on face cream as well.

Sincerely,

Your son’s loving step-mother

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on September 14, 2010.

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