This weekend, the young'un was at our house. She's with us every other weekend and a couple of evenings a week for her dance classes. This means that for that period of time, I'm the mother figure in the house. According to my mother-in-law, I play house for those times, but that's another post in itself.
The conversation came about while we were driving around on Saturday after her play rehearsal and before the evening performance for her dance school's spring ballet. Since P was helping his dad do some things, it was just her and I for most of the day. Since we had errands of our own to get done, we spent a significant amount of time in the car. This tends to be where most of our talking occurs now as she's 11 going on 30 and is in tears over some slight (real or imagined) a large portion of the time at home. This is not just at our house, but everywhere. This weekend, she was dwelling on my place in her life vs. her step-father's place in her life.
How does one explain the intricacies of step-parenting to a hormonal pre-teen who is looking for someone to make life nice and simple, but still treat her like a grown-up? It isn't something easy to explain. I had to somehow explain to her that she was the child of my heart, but that I understand that I'm not her mother. I'm her step-mom and I don't want to take her mother's place when she's with us. I'm her friend, one of her parents, and someone who loves her very much. But at the same time, I have to make her understand that I would love to have been her mom, lest I make her think I don't love her like a mom. She's a complicated child and it's a complicated subject.
This has now gotten me dwelling on family. How do you define family? Is it by genetic relationship? By law? By choice? Do you have friends who you feel like are your family and family you'd rather forget ever existed? As an infertile woman who wants to build her family, this subject nudges at that nice tender spot in my heart that's never completely healed each month. We all know the one. It's the one that gives us hope of a baby, of a miracle of our own in some way. But in some ways I have a miracle, but the miracle is only mine for brief moments at a time and then she flies back to her other home.
5 hours ago