Saturday, August 22, 2015

Fixing My Pipes

My landlord had scheduled an appointment during our vacaton, to rip out our bathroom floors, move the sink and cabinet, and the toilet, in order to fix the bathroom pipes and rebuild the floor that had sustained water damage due to a leak.


Turns out he needed to come in the week before our vacation because the problem suddenly worsened. I was not pleased that the appointment was moved up.

The landlord and his contractor came in, started the job, and made every effort at expediently finishing everything in one day. They were there from daylight until dark, and got everything finished except the trim work, which he would finish while we were away. I was thankful that it was taken care of quickly. 

We went to Florida, came back, the rest of the summer passed and it wasn't until one day while I was searching for something under that bathroom cabinet, that I made a horrifying realization.

I digress. 

When informed that the landlord would be coming in the next day, not on vaction as scheduled, I was in a rush to pick up and clean my house. I was more worried about picking up the playroom and baskets of laundry, than I was the bathroom they would be working in.

I picked up dirty clothes and dusted, and moved the things off of the sink in the master bath, but never once did I think to clean out the cabinet under the sink. Where they had to move the cabinet and sink out into the bedroom, they had to either, A-remove the contents of the cabinet, or B- the contents fell out and they had to be picked up.

Why, you ask, would this be so awful that I refuse to ever look my landlord in the face again and to avoid him at all costs?

Because I forgot what I had hidden away in that bathroom cabinet. I forgot that my husband left the boxes of our new bedroom toys in the master bath floor, and one day when my child needed to use the potty, I hurriedly stuffed the boxes away under the counter from her innocent eyes.


Yes, I forgot to clean out my sex toy
boxes before the landlord had to move that cabinet. So either he had to take them out, or pick them up when the cabinet was moved, because everything that was under that sink previously, boxes and all, were organized in a nice little bag. AND I NEVER ORGANIZED THEM! 

Let's take this a step further if you will. The contents of the boxes were haphazardly stashed in the master bath mirror that does not latch all the way. The mirror that is directly over the cabinet, that covered the trap door in the floor to under the house, which gave them access to the pipes. 

Picture with me, this image that I cannot get out of my head. 

They start banging on the linoleum on the floor, to pull it up, which jolts the mirrored cabinet door open, and dildos come raining down onto their heads. They replace the toys. They resume working, having to pound on the floor to get the trap door open, which jars the mirror open, and causes the dildos to come crashing down on their heads again. They replace them. They then spend countless hours pounding and banging and fixing my pipes, while being pummeled, banged, and pounded from above with the very instruments that frequently fix my, ahem, pipes. The following lyrics have been playing on repeat in my head; It's Raining men, hallelujah, it's raining men......or plastic parts of men! The irony is not lost on me. 

The horrifying realization that I spoke of earlier? It comes from the realization that two someone elses on the planet unequivically know your exact level of kink. Have seen , and have in all likelihood, touched, and have been pummeled by your kinky toys as well.


 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Commando Cook Episode #1


My hubbie, the chef who was born to cook, has had a wee accident rendering him unable to bear weight on his left foot for an unspecified amount of time. Not only is he unable to work for the moment, but unable to cook as well. Sooooo... I am left with a daunting task, cooking. It is unenjoyable to me. To eat is glorious, to have to cook is the ninth circle of hell for me. 

Since our family is depending on me to avoid starvation, I find myself forced to explore the kitchen. And all the foods. I said to myself, "Okay self, we have to do this, have to figure it out. I have avoided learning how to cook since forever, and now the time has come to woman up. So since I am involuntarily forced, you know not winning the lottery and all, allowing for the hiring of an actual chef who enjoys tasting this, a pinch more of that, I might as well make it enjoyable! Or at least get a cutsey pic in my sweet apron!" Says the girl who has burned grilled cheese, almost killed my toddler and myself by leaving the gas stove on while taking a nap, and who has caught butter on fire.

So it is here we find ourselves dear 'Snappers! In this mostly foreign universe, the kitchen! Waaaay out of my comfort zone! I need liquid courage, some Framboise Lambic! But no, then I would probably screw up dinner, because of my bad case of Look! Squirrel! No grown up drinks for me! This whole deal makes me uncomfortable!


Why couldn't I just bake my way through the next few months? Or make kid sandwich, fruit and veggie cartoon characters or scenes? I seriously rock at those! I make a mean set of apple-peanut butter-marshmallow teeth! I regularly make marshmallows pops, and witches brooms too! Why oh why must I learn to cook actual food???



Well piffle! Let's get on with it then! On tonight's menu is chicken noodles/soup. I am following the directions... I am
actually cooking! And... I am cooking commando. Screw skivvies! Least I will be comfortable while I try not to screw up this cooking thing! Woot woot!

I am happy to report that tonight, the second of four nights of me running the kitchen, that I fed five people.........
AND THEY LIKED IT!!!!!!

It's a miracle! I can make tacos, omelets, spaghetti or pasta with meat sauce, and anything that comes in a box. Outside of that, I am pretty much useless in the kitchen.

The first night, I made tacos, and they were good.
The second night, I made spaghetti.I inadvertently used the pour not sprinkle side of the giganto size sea salt, and guess what? The seven and forty one year old choked it down. Love their hearts! There was enough salt in the pasta to create another ocean! And usually I make good pasta.
The third day I made a box dinner of creamy chicken alfredo. The noodles were like shoe leather before it's worn in. The sauce was goopy and sticky. It was disgusting. My husband ate it, but I had a nice salad. I couldn't stomach the yuck! 
Bless his heart!
Today I made homemade chicken and noodles/soup. And it was good! Really good! And you know whats even better? I didn't kill hubbie the dearest, my bff, her kid, or his best friend! And they liked it! They actually liked it! 

And I got a super cute selfie to commemorate the occasion! 

 Our first Redneck Dinner Party that I cooked! Aaawww! Rainbow Fiesta Wear in the yard with the besties! Because... crutches and porch stairs. And mismatched chairs, glasses, skeeters and a half gallon of Sailor Jerry! Woop woop! Cheers!  
And here is my cute commando cheffing selfing!

* stay tuned for more episodes of the Commando Cook, coming soon, because I am stuck in the kitchen for my forseeable future*


Hugs and Kisses, 
        Ginger


Friday, June 26, 2015

Reflections from the Road

 I am headed to the beach with my six year old and my father. Vacation therapy. 


This has become our ritual as the years pass since we lost my mother. In her death, I have found a new best friend and confidante. We are closer than we have ever been. I am still his cherished and spoiled little girl, as is my daughter. She is close with her Grandpa, and they also share a special bond. One that only they have. She is her Grandpa's girl. Just like I have always been my Daddy's girl.


As has become our tradition, my Daddy drives and I am lulled to sleep by the constant wave like twists and turns of the West Virginia Turnpike. The constant curves rock me like when I was a child, in the car with my Mommy and Daddy, and little brother headed to the beach. The beautiful and majestic mountains that I love turn into the scenic overlooks of Virginia.Virginia runs into the flatter land of North Carolina, which eventually turns into the long stretch of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Hatteras, we are almost there! I always feel safe and secure when we are with him.


This was the destination of our first beach trip after we lost my mother. This will be our fourth trip with my father to this paradise. It is the place where I broke my leg, where my baby learned to swim, a place to relax, to slow down and enjoy each other, to heal, to figure out life without my mother, and to enjoy our island away from home. I have so many fond memories and pictures of this culturally rich little island. I hold it and them close to my heart.


So again, just for this week, every year, we can escape and play like children in the sand and surf, or at the pool. We can fly kites without abandon, and build the sandcastles of our dreams. My father is helping to teach my little one just like he taught me all those years ago our family's beach traditions. We are also helping to teach her the importance of family, working hard so that you can play harder,  and to always stay a kid at heart! She has also learned that we are very blessed to be able to share these beach trips with my Daddy, because not everybody gets to go to the beach every year, and life is fleeting. 


We are also blessed with a husband and father, the calibre of my Daddy, that graciously shares us every summer. To my husband, I am forever grateful for his constant understanding of our needs.


These vacations to the Outer Banks of North Carolina have meant so much to us all. They have allowed us all to appreciate family more in the here and now, and to let my father and daughter(and me) develop memories that will last a lifetime. Children bring such joy, and our vacations are so fun and filled with joy and love. Grandpa and his little conspirator against Mommy. 


So we are off to the land of pirates, treasure hunting, seafood, long pool mornings, longer beach afternoons, Blackbeard, Teach's Hole, 




Ocracoke Island and the ferry, the sandy beaches, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, 


the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the Ocracoke Lighthouse,


 Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, The Chicomaco Life Saving StationMuseum, The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, sandcastles, kite flying, The Wright Brothers Museum,


and new and wonderful memories.


So life goes on. Life changes, but it goes on. You appreciate the here and now, and look back fondly. And every year, I look back as I take this drive with my father and daughter to our favorite beach. As I am lulled into a sleepy, dream like state by all the gentle curves, I look back on all that was, where we are now, and how far we have come. I remenisce, shed a few tears in rememberance as I reflect on life and loss, and am humbled by the man that is my father, the beautiful girl who is my daughter, and the strength I have witnessed in both of them. I am beyond blessed to have the love of these two amazing individuals, and the close bond we all share.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Dear Mr Presumptuous Swim Team Dad

Dear Mr. Presumptuous Swim Team Dad,

     I have a few things that I would like to cover with you regarding my child.

     A-She is six years old and very impressionable. Swim team should be a positive experience. It is suppose to be fun! She does not need an adult, the parent of a fellow swimmer telling her," that's okay, you can work harder next time." That statement implies that she did not work her butt off this time. She was proud of herself. Who do  you think you are to tear her down? Great job! Way to go! You did it! would all be acceptable responses to cheering for or congratulating my child. Do not ever take it upon yourself again to bring your over zealous need for winning to my child's world. Fuck up your own kid. M'kay cupcake?

     B-It is her coach's responsibility and her coach's responsibility alone to 'coach' my child. Unless I decide otherwise.

     C-It is her coach's responsibility to teach her proper stroke technique, or mine. Not yours. Do not make that mistake again. Unless I, in my infinite wisdom, ask for your expert opinion. Which will never happen. Even if hell freezes over. Wow! Can you imagine that? Not even then.

     D-Never mistake my politeness as an invitation to openly denounce my child's performance in front of her teammates, the opposing team, and all of the parents, grandparents and cheerers on,and then take it upon yourself to 'coach' her publicly immediately after her race. You are a lucky man that my husband has the patience of a saint. And that I was at the ribbon writing table, writing ribbons. Single her out again, I guarantee it will not be overlooked.

      E- Never mistake this pretty face for a stupid one. I, nor my child, needs saving from our less than desirable quantity of coach to kid instructional time, by involving you, to personally single my kid out for coaching. All by yourself. Are you sensing a lot of 'I' statements in here thus far? Good, your catching on!

You are not Michael Phelps. PERIOD
 Obviously you feel the need to offer your un-solicited assistance to a vulnerable little girl who may have been doing the breast stroke a little less than perfect. I would strongly advise you to keep your opinions, techniques, and snide comments to yourself from here on out. Are we clear?

You may have been trying to make a genuine attempt to help my child, but for reasons A-E stated above, you are not qualified nor welcome. I have three words for you in three versions;

Time, place, appropriateness
Not the coach
Go Fuck Yourself

Sincerely,
                 Pissed Off Mama Bear


***Those of you who have a six year old that plays any sport know, that criticism, at the ripe old age of six, is taken to heart. It can shape a child's love for or hatred of the entire sport.  I stated above that they are so very impressionable at this age, you have to be so very careful in what is said to children.  We need positive role models, than encourage rather than tear down. Not perfectionist, hard core parents that are no real help to the child.

 First and foremost, we always tell our daughter to have fun. We also teach her that winning is not everything. That being said, I would also like to state that at the six year old level of swimming, in our league, no marks are taken off for technique, improper stroke, flipping over during backstroke, etc. At six, they are learning. Thank goodness for my husband and I reaffirming her awesome effort, or she may have gotten down on herself and wanted to quit today.

 So why this man took it upon himself  to publicly ridicule and attempt to humiliate my child is beyond me. I am very careful not to say anything to her, to upset her delicate six year old sensibilities. What makes him think that he has that right?***





    

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Out Loud; The Empowerment Suit



Embracing my confidence out loud.  That is what I have been doing this past weekend! It was Memorial Day weekend, the weekend that we remember our fallen heroes, and those that have served our great country. I, have also been on another adventure!

I am sometimes a pear, sometimes an apple, and sometimes I just have a spare tire. Bathing suit season, and shopping for the like are at best times, finding a cute material or one aspect of a bathing suit. Not an entire cute suit. Not for anything above a size 14. So called 'Mommy Bathing Suits'. Suits that cover everything, for girls of a certain size, that include skirts to hide the lumps and bumps,and mumu-tanks like tops to cover our mom-bod bellies. Bellies that grew humans. We need to respect, love and embrace our mom-bods more.

 So my husband is determined that I am not buying a skirted bottom half anymore! He is done with the dress tanks, that grow exponentially with every wear and washing. He is in love with these pinup girl high-waisted, two pieces inspired by none other than our righteous plus size pinup sister, Tess Holiday(the hottest plus size swimsuit model in the industry.)


He is determined that I need to fully embrace my sex kitten side and scream female empowerment at the pool this summer.  He thinks I am hot and loves me just the way I am.  He loves my plus size bubble butt, and my tummy that carried and nurtured our child. He also worked in the fashion industry for a while. He is my personal shopper! I am a lucky gal!
So we found the perfect suit. We bought two different style tops. Here is the first one!


I was so nervous trying them on, but I was excited too. Excited to not have to hide under a mumu polka dot momma caftan for once. Excited to wear a cute bathing suit again! Calling all sex kittens! Because you either have to mentally embrace the suit and loving the skin that your in, or hide under a towel all day!





Now mind you, I am the most self confidant lil old gal on the planet.  I am an attractive woman, and have great boobs. But these almost bikini like swimsuits are making me a tad bit nervous. I feel like I am screaming 'Look at me' and I have been in mommy mode for almost eight years. Nothing like popping on a strappy number or putting the girls on display in a bikini top, while embracing the high waisted bikini bottom to scream to the masses 'I love myself, mom belly and all, and I don't want or need you approval!' Especially after trying to disguise the mom belly for the last many years. My mother's voice is echoing in my head..."Dress for your body style...."



After my initial nervousness, I dropped my skirt, stuck my boobs out, arched my back, and strutted to the pool. Nothing like owning it. It felt so good to feel so good about myself in a bathing suit! I totally rocked that suit. It was very empowering to wear what I wanted to the pool along with the other hundred moms that were there. I got some looks, some eyeglasses down the nose, but I smiled and had an absolute blast with my family! Worry about a little old thing like a bathing suit? Never!



So I must say after yesterday's success at the local swimming pool with suit top number one, today I am putting on the more revealing of the tops and going balls out. Nothing like re-embracing a bikini at 40, after not having worn one(except for solo sunbathing in college) since I was six, my daughter's age now. I only hope she can continue to gain positive lessons in self love, self confidence, and bravery by my new bathing suit choices and my decision to wear my plus size-bikini, my empowerment suit! I hope that other moms are inspired by my choice of bathing suit, and feel empowered to wear swimsuits that empower them as well. I hope my bathing suit choice helped just one woman see that she too can step outside the mold and expectations of  mommy bathing suit stereotype. The mom bod so to speak, needs to be embraced in all it's beauty! Stretch marks, cellulite, broken veins and all. In all shapes. In all sizes. Love the body you have been given!

People won't remember your body, but they will remember your fierce confidence!


 And your cute suit!

Well here goes!(as she sucks in her gut, wishes for a Xanax, and loads up the car....)Onward to empwower the Memorial Day Pool Masses!


 
 

Friday, May 8, 2015

School Pictures

 

I have been wanting to write. The words have been trapped inside me, threatening to burst forth. I have cried every day this week. Missing them. Remembering them. I have had the desire to explode all these feelings onto paper. It takes a lot of energy, your whole being to process grief. But I just haven't had the energy as of late. Until now.


I sit in my kitchen staring at my daughter's school picture, eyes closed, imagining my Mother's arms around me the last time she hugged me, and all the harsh realizations come flooding out. They explode out of me. The floodgate is open. They will never see her again. They will never see her play soccer. They will never be able to wrap their arms around her and see the wonder of her growing up. They will never see the wonder of my beautiful daughter, looking, sounding and acting like them. Like all the females in our family. I am now all alone. My village is broken, and gone. I am broken. My dad and I are the only ones left.  My husband and my six year old baby complete my family.  There are my in laws, and they are great, but its not the same. It will never be the same, ever again.


 I grew up with my parents and grandparents attending every single school function that I ever participated in.  Band concerts, Rainbow Girls, dance recitals, swimming, football games when the marching band played, band camp performances, summer camps, school plays and musicals.  They were all there. Always. They will never be there for her. She will never know what it is like to have my Mom, or my Nana cheer her on.  She will never see their loving faces in the crowd.


I am a master at compartmentalizing.  I thought I was okay with my Nana's death.  We were there, she lived a long full life. She was ready.  It was her time. I told her to go.  I told her it was okay, as if she needed my permission. My six year old handled my eighty-seven year old grandmother's death like a seasoned pastor at her bedside. She told Nana stories, snuggled up to her, and told her it was okay to go and meet Jesus. She learned how we treat our dying. The great grandkids were there for the learning, and the passing of the torch.  They all sat on her bed, held her hand, and talked to her, just as if she wasn't knocking on deaths door. I watched the passing of the torch to the next generation that weekend.  That day was precious. It was my Nana's last attendance at a big family gathering.  It was for her.  She passed quietly the next morning, before I could get to her from the hotel.  


She waited for me to drive to North Carolina from West Virginia, with my husband and my child. She waited for me and my daughter. She wanted to see her girls one last time. The last granddaughter she raised, and the last baby(great granddaughter) that she helped to raise, whom she adored. She needed us to tell her it was okay to go, that we would be okay. We had just been to see her less than two months before I got the call. My Auntie B, with whom she lived, called me and told me that it would be any day, possibly any hour now. She let me talk to her one last time. She woke up and had a moment of clarity from her medicine induced, dementia fueled ,mumbling, confused haze to tell me, her "third daughter" one last thing.


"I love you. Goodbye. Tell everybody up there(WV) I said bye, now don't you cry!"


I, of course lost it, right there in Kohl's, where I was Easter dress shopping with my best friend. I went to the car and bawled my eyes out. I knew right then, that it was the last time I would ever talk to my grandmother. Since I had just visited, my Auntie B excused my presence at her bedside vigil. She said I was there when Nana needed me to be.  To make some last, lasting memories with Nana. And she was right.  I had visited seven times over the last year, to make sure my precious baby had some good memories of her Nana.


It is such a surreal experience when your grandmother tells you goodbye, and you know, I mean you just know deep down in the depths of your soul, that she really means it. And it was important for her to tell me. When the woman who helped raise you, that called you her third daughter because you were so close, the only other woman who knew firsthand the earth shattering, life changing pain of losing her daughter, my mother...and who was there for me, and I her, through it all, is gone? Well as my Daddy would say, it's a game changer.  It's a life changer.  A life altering, no going back now, you are the new MATRIARCH of this branch of the family, it's shocking.


When your world changes so very much in such a short period of time, you retreat and take care of you. You take care of your broken, fragile, mental state, and that grief process that is hitting your baby? Well you shut it down, compartmentalize, and take care of her first.  Like I said before, I am a master at compartmentalizing, and a very strong woman.  I come from a long line of strong women, who I was fortunate enough to be best friends with as well.  We were a threesome, my mom, my Nana and I.  And it rattles and shakes you to the very foundation of your soul, when your village starts dying around you. Self preservation kicks in, and you take baby steps to recreate and band aid your shattered world. Then there is another year of firsts to survive. And you have to go through every single one. Mother's Day, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Christmas, Thanksgiving, first day of school for the new year, New Years, Valentines Day, the day of their death, etc.  A whole year of firsts, in a whole new existence you have to figure out without them. All the while, life goes on. Without them. And then you start to pick up the pieces, and figure it out.




And then you sit at your kitchen table and see your beautiful daughter's newest school picture, and realize that your baby will never really know these two beautiful exemplary women that shaped you and made you who you are today. They were your everything. She was their everything, as were you. 


You are all she has now. They are in you, and you must never let her forget them.  You promised them. No matter how painful, no matter how many tears. She will know them through all the pictures and stories you tell. She will understand how much you loved them through the amount of your tears and depth of your grief. She will cry and grieve with you! You will get through it together. She will know them through you. You are her mother. You will be everything to her that they were to you. You have big shoes to fill. And more memories rush in, a lifetime full of memories.

And your heart breaks all over again.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dear Daughter...A Guest Post

Today  I have a snapper who has asked me to share this beautifully written piece about stepmothers and their children on her behalf. So we have a guest post! I am a stepmother, so this hits near and dear to my heart. Get your tissues ready, this is both poignant and beautiful. Hope you enjoy! And be sure and comment to encourage this brave lady to start her very own blog, so we can follow her!
                                                 **************************************
Dear Daughter,
Thank you for making me smile, and for lighting my world with your hugs and kisses and your calls for me when I leave your sight. Thank you for every silly secret, every laugh, and every moment that you have given me that I never thought I would want or need or grow to cherish. Thank you for loving me.
I feel like I know you, but at the same time like you’re a stranger. You’re only three, almost four, although you deny to your bones that you’ll ever be anything but “THREE”. It’s your favorite number. Elsa is your favorite person, kitties are your favorite pets, and Clifford and George are tied for your favorite imaginary animals. Your favorite book is the Man in the Moon, and your favorite food is spaghetti. You also love chicken sandwiches. Your favorite color was pink until last month, then suddenly it was yellow. When I asked you why it changed, your answer broke my heart just a little bit. Because Mommy loves it.
Sometimes you mistakenly call me Mommy, occasionally you call me by my first name, but mostly you call me Stepmommy. I’ve been here since before you could talk. I helped potty train you. I helped teach you your numbers and letters. I’m teaching you to read. I’m teaching you to count. I taught you how to say please, thank you, you’re welcome, and excuse me. I taught you how to climb. I’m teaching you how to walk confidently, to speak your mind, and to respect yourself. But I’m not really Mommy. You’ve informed me of this. I’m “Just Stepmommy.”
I don’t fault you for that. How could I? I know in my heart that there’s no way you’d know the difference if someone hadn’t told you. I’m the one that’s loved your Daddy since you can remember. I’m the one who’s kissed the booboos and sang the lullabies and served the breakfasts lunches and dinners and dispensed the medicine and tucked in the sheets and cleaned up the sick and answered the questions since before you could speak. I’ve been here more than half your life. Why would I be “Just Stepmommy”? Why is there a hierarchy of matriarchy in your young mind? It’s not because you don’t love me. It’s not because you don’t like me. The shine in your eyes and the squeal in your voice when you see me in the mornings or greet me after work belie that theory. Someone told it to you, and that’s not your fault.
But I know you love me. And hopefully, you know I love you. What I see when I look at you is a stranger, but a stranger that I would do anything to protect and to nurture. You are my sunshine and my days are all clouds when you and your brother are not home. But you are both strangers. I hold your hand, and feel beyond fortunate that these little, tiny, perfectly formed fingers nestle so snuggly in my palm. And for a moment, I am happy. And then, I wonder what those little fingers felt like the first day they felt another hand? How fragile you must have been in your first days here on earth! How you must have needed someone to hold you, to feed you, to clothe and bathe and protect you. You still need those things, but from a distance, because I’m teaching you to be your own little woman, to be self-reliant, to be “Strong and Super”, instead of “Cute and Pretty”. (You are cute and pretty. Cuter and prettier than any other little girl I’ve ever laid eyes upon.) And when I watch you while you sleep, so little, but legs and arms so long, you remind me of a foal, I watch as you turn in your sleep, and kick your long little legs just like your Daddy does in his sleep, and I wonder, did you kick before you were born? What would we be if we had ever shared that closeness?
Every time you recount a trip to the doctor, I listen intently, carefully, hanging on each word. And I ask myself, were you really sick, or were you craving attention? If you really were sick, did you ask for me when you felt so bad? Did you even want me? Did you even think of me? Or am I really “Just Stepmommy”? Just a passable stand-in while the real deal enjoys her free nights? But I listen, and I ask the right questions to move the story along. And I congratulate you on your bravery against all the shots and all the doctors in the world.
We talk at night, and you tell me stories about monsters and bears, and how your Daddy will always save you, and I smile, and I contribute, and I listen to every word. You tell me things I don’t understand, and things that sound like what they shouldn’t. I help you with the words you can’t remember, can’t pronounce, and together we tell awesome stories. I read to you, and I speak to you clearly, hoping that every sleepless night I’ve spent at the computer researching speech development and therapy was for something. I make new games each week to practice our letters and our sounds and our words. We’ve made it to two syllables, and some favorite three syllable words are only slightly butchered. Your speech is improved so much in the last year, and I am so very very proud of you. But I wonder, if I had been along for the all along, would you have been so far behind at nearly 3? You’re almost 4 now, and we’ve gone from grunts and points to nonsense stories and only a quarter of the words are made up. I hope I’m doing well. I hope you’re learning and growing. I hope you’ll be smart.
I take you out, to the library, to see my grandmother, we take walks around the neighborhood, and when you speak to strangers, I translate. I rephrase. I correct. I make sure that you heard every word the way it normally sounds so hopefully eventually you pick it up in the ways that my coaching fails you. And I wonder, is there something more I could do?
You go into dazes, you refuse to look me in the eyes, even when you’re telling me a story. All I want in this world at those moments is for you to make eye contact, to stop looking at the floor, to stop looking at the wall, to stop averting your gaze, and for a while I wondered, do you only do it to me? But I’ve watched. It’s always. And then I wonder, if I had the right to take you to a doctor, would they confirm my worst nightmares? But I remember, I do not have that right. All I can do is hope and coach and try to teach and all I can do is expose you to the elements and hope you come away from it with something meaningful. Those are my only rights because I am “Just Stepmommy.”
You tell me that you love your Mommy, that you miss her, that you’re waiting for her to come home. And every week, when she fails to do that for long enough for you to forget, you cry when she takes you away from us. Away from me. I don’t tell you this, but I cry, too. When you and your brother are gone with your Real Mommies, I lie in my bed and I cry for you. Because I miss you. I’m in love with you little monsters, you little animals, you little angels. I love you so much that my heart breaks for you every week when you are, figuratively, ripped away from my side. I’ve grown so attached to you two in the last year, that sometimes I wonder if it’s not superficial. If it’s not too early to acknowledge it. But you two are a part of me that burns with excitement and pride when I watch you be yourselves, and burns with searing pain when I realize that there is no little girl or boy to share my meals, or prattle on about something I do not understand.
Sometimes I think about having my own children, I fantasize about sleepless nights that are all my own, that I don’t share with someone else. I dream about the logistics of daily care and the burden of diapers and feeding and carrying and teaching. I long for the opportunity to satiate that desire to be someone’s one and only. And I hate myself for wanting it. And sometimes, in the deepest darkest most guilty parts of my heart, I resent you for that. Your love put that desire in me where it never was before. Your smile drew me into a form of love that I never knew. Your absence showed me the hole that never was supposed to be uncovered in my heart. And your youth and need and chokehold on your father’s heart prevents me from having any real hope that I will ever be whole. You break me, and every week, as soon as I learn to love my lot in life, as soon as I accept that I am and always will be “Just Stepmommy”, you’re taken away from me again, and then I’m just nothing. Just alone in a house that needs cleaned again with no little monsters to mess it up for days. Alone in a home with quiet walls and doors and empty rooms. Alone in a place littered with toys and no one to play with them.
And then I wonder, how much must your Real Mommy hurt when you’re with me? This woman who stepped into your life with no explanation, no excuse, and, almost instantly, won your adoration and affection, your smiles and your kisses, your giggles and your shrieks, your accidental “Mommy” words? How could she ever forgive me for filling a role she was supposed to be the only one to fill? If I were in her shoes, I would hate the Stepmommy for that. And I would try to be nice, and I would try to listen to the stories, and I would try to accept the fact that, through nobody’s fault, things are just how they are. But I can understand why maybe, just this once, she slipped up and said to her little princess with a mind like a sponge, who is learning to speak and address people and understand the complex world and relationships around her, that I am “Just Stepmommy”. And, while it breaks my heart, I can understand it.
My dearest, darling daughter, I hope you never have to read this letter, I hope that everything is always as good as it is now or better. But if you do, what I want you to know is this: To you, I may be “Just Stepmommy”, but to me, you are not “Just my Stepdaughter”, you are my Daughter yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever after that.


Love, Stepmommy
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An anonymous post written by a beautiful lady.  Thank you for selecting me to share it with the world!