Monday, July 6, 2009

A Good Guy To Know

This was my second Mother’s Day. It took awhile to hear myself say, “My son”, or, “My daughter”, and not have it feel surreal. after trying to get pregnant for so long. Now with one year old triplets running around, almost literally, Mother’s Day is truly special. But one of the most unexpected blessings of my life is my 12 year old stepson.

Reflecting on a time when I thought I might never end up getting married, I recall having dated a couple of men who already had a child. Though it was never something I thought would be for me, it seemed fine at that time, when I had no imminent intention of getting married. I was sure that when the time came, I would want to marry someone with whom I could experience a child together for the first time. I also never thought I would be the second wife.

Marrying someone with a child however, proved to be a great thing. I discovered that moving forward became easier when I let go of the past. Meeting my husband gave me the courage to do just that, at a time in my life when I was less than hopeful about relationships.

Seeing your future spouse in action with their child before you have one with them is pretty telling. My husband is a great dad, and it is no surprise to me that his son is also a great kid. Meeting my stepson at kindergarten age was good timing perhaps, and fortunately the divorce is a harmonious situation, which is helpful. But what truly makes it work is my husband’s allowance of my participation with his son. I have tried to be very conscious of the appropriate boundaries, given our circumstances. I know I am not his mother. He has one. That frees me up to be a parental figure with less pressure. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to do things with him like go to the movies, go shopping, take him to play dates, play video games and more. Having time to talk with him, help him with homework and get to know him has been wonderful. Electronic Arts invited us to a couple of pre-market video game events in the past six months. Going to them, just the two of us, was so much fun. We ate junk food, played video games that no one else has played yet and just chatted about nothing in particular.

My husband and his son took a trip when his son was about four years old. His son commented during the plane's descent into Los Angeles that it seemed like it might rain. It did turn out to rain a short time later, and my husband told him he had been right. His son turned his face up to my husband and very seriouly said, "I'm a good guy to know!".

I had no idea how things would turn out back in the beginning. But I knew my husband was right for me, and I knew that whatever our circumstances, we could make it work. Having ‘parent practice time’ with my husband and stepson before we had our babies was a bonus. This (now) young man is a fabulous older brother. The triplets ADORE him and light up when he walks into the room. He was important to me before we had babies, and now is even more important as their sibling.

So although this was my second Mother’s Day, it feels like my sixth. I am grateful to call this good guy family.

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