Last night I wrote a check for my “stepson’s” 8th grade graduation pictures. I wrote it, handed it to him and thought ‘Holy Crap! When did this happen?’
When Jim and I moved in together Aaron was 8 years old, he was in 3rd grade, he was just a kid. I have had the privilege of watching him grow into a remarkable young man. It astounds me that even with all the mistakes the adults in his life made, he has turned out to be respectful and polite and surprisingly non-whiney for a 13-year-old. He went from being an only child to having me, a step dad, 2 baby sisters and a baby brother in a 5 year time period. He seemed to take it all in stride and he is an amazing big brother. I could not have asked for a better big brother for Tyler, they adore each other.
I will admit that when Jim and I got together I had given very little thought to what it would be like to be in the role of someone’s step mom. It’s a fine line to walk and in the beginning it is especially difficult. I have great respect for any person who helps to raise a child that is not their own. I never went into this wanting to be a ‘Mom’ figure for Aaron. He has a mom and I would never expect him to think of me like that. I think through the years we have developed our own kind of relationship. It’s not really a child/parent dynamic (unless I’m telling him to clean his room or help do the dishes) but it’s more like we are friends. When Aaron was younger we spent more time together than we do now. I would take him to Michael’s and we would do art project after art project. He really liked stuff like that and I loved it. After Jim and I had Tyler, we didn’t do that kind of stuff as often as I wish we would have.
I hope that as he starts high school he knows that I am proud of him and will always be there if he needs a non-parent to talk to. I look forward to seeing what life has in store for him in the future. I know it will be something great.