My darling stepson

I love you darling. I met you when you were six, and I was twenty.  I loved your dad and I fell in love with you. This year, you moved in with us full time after your mom and step-dad decided to move overseas with your stepbrother and stepsister. You are only eleven, and tried to be so brave when they dragged out the move, when they sold your dog, and your house, without telling you.

You were so brave when you started to get panic attacks from separation anxiety. Even at school, in the middle of your running races, and all through the night. I love you mate, and I know I’m not your mom. But when it’s two in the morning and I’m washing and labelling your school uniforms, when you’re sleeping in our bed because you’re scared to be alone, when we’re talking about your mom, or your stepsiblings, or girls, I feel like your mom.

It’s scares me. I’m only twenty-four, and I’m not ready to be a mom yet. I make mistakes everyday. Like tonight, when I got cross with you – you wanted to talk to your mommy, and I said sure, and gave you the phone, but then you decided you wanted to play a game on your computer, and I reminded you again to call her after dinner, but you decided to watch tv instead. Then, when I was putting you to bed, you said you wanted to call her, but it was already past your bedtime, and I had already reminded you throughout the night and I said no, you could call her in the morning, because you and both knew it was about staying up, not talking to your mom. Because you do this every night; spend thirty minutes brushing your teeth, or hiding my mobile under the bed, or hiding yourself upstairs so I have to find you, giggling like a little boy under the stairs, behind the door.

But tonight you cried when I said no, and I got nervous, because I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing- so I talked and talked at you until you became confused and stressed.

We fixed it, I read you your book, and gave you a hug. You smiled and went to sleep. I think you are ok, but I know damage you, affect you when I touch dangerous subjects I don’t really know how to handle. I’m so, so sorry. I don’t want to be your mom, I want to be your mate. Someone you always know you can rely on. I make mistakes all the time and when your dad’s not around (which seems like always at the moment doesn’t it?) I get things wrong, I don’t know how to handle my little guy who is becoming a young teen everyday. How do I deal with a teenager? I feel like I’ve only just become a grown up myself. I want you to be happy, and feel safe. I never, ever want you to hate me the way some of my friends hate their stepmothers. I love you. I never thought I would, but there is nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I wish your mom didn’t move overseas, that you could live with all of us, close by. So you could have both parents near you. I wish the love I give you could replace the love she doesn’t, my darling.

And now it seems you are getting a little crush on me. Another little awkward situation, but we’ll deal with it, as we deal with all the little and large dramas we come across. I’m realising everyone’s life is full of craziness. It’s just how you deal with it that makes a difference.

I love you my darling.

Your Stepmom.

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~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on November 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “My darling stepson”

  1. Stepmom- You’re doing a wonderful job.
    I became a stepmom very young as well. Now many years later I can assure you that you feel like you make mistakes with your own children too. You obviously have a big heart and it’s in the right place. Give yourself more credit. Hugs to you for caring so much.

  2. I think you are a brave and wonderful woman! It seems like you are doing a great job. Being a Stepmom is tough at any age, but like you said “It’s how you deal with it that makes a difference”. Not experience alone. Best of luck to you and your family! Hugs to you, from a 28 year old Stepmom of 3 years. 🙂

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