From Stepchild to Stepmother

emily - Chandler, Arizona
Entered on July 10, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family, gratitude

A few weeks ago, my mom came for a visit and we went out to eat. My three daughters were sitting in the back chatting away, while she and I sat in the front talking about life. Suddenly, it hit me, there in the car were three generations of our family, and it caused me to breath in that moment. I’m sure many of you have at one time or another experienced a “connect the dots” moment, well this was mine.

I am both a stepchild and a stepmother, you see in all actuality it was my step mom, my three stepdaughters, and myself going out to eat. What I took in was the fact that three generations of stepfamilies were represented in that vehicle. It caused me to look through the mirror and reflect on how the relationship with my step mom has evolved over the years; at the same time, it caused me to take stock of the relationship I have with my own stepdaughters.

The day my step mom walked down the aisle to my dad, secret hopes for my parents reconciling broke into little pieces. I watched as they exchanged rings and kissed, all the while I thought in my mind, “ I will not love her and I will never accept her.” We struggled, we fought, and I made every attempt at justifying a reason for my feelings. At 17 years of age, I became pregnant, my step mom could have judged me, but instead she, along with my parents, supported me. When I had my son, she carried no expectations as a “step grandmother,” yet she loved my son as if he had been her own blood-related grandson. I can recall now, it was then that our relationship began to shift.

Remembering those experiences has helped me in relationship towards my stepdaughters. My stepdaughters stood in my wedding as flower girls; they wore white dresses, white stockings, and shiny white shoes. I walked down the aisle to their daddy with tears of joy, and anticipation over our new adventure as a blended family.

My step mom has become a strong constant in my life; she endured my rowdy childhood and my risky teen years. My dad and my step mom are no longer married, and yet she’s my step mom. My children call her “Grandma,” and we talk to each other every week.

The day my mom passed away, I cried on the phone to my step mom. She wept with me for my loss and held my hand at my Moms’ funeral. It was those thoughts that danced through my mind as we drove to the restaurant that day. I was smiling at her for who she has been in my life and at the same time, I looked back at my stepdaughters wondering who I will become in theirs.