Since Mother’s Day is this Sunday, I thought I’d make a special post all about my stepmother.
My biological mother pretty much didn’t want to play a part in my life. She felt that having a child would “tie her down”, so she and my father divorced. Sometime after that she tried to kidnap me, which resulted in a custody battle and she won. However, her desire to be free-spirited often meant that she would just drop me off at dad’s house. Eventually, dad persuaded her to give him custody and I’ve lived with him ever since.
It was during the “back and forth” period that dad met the the woman who would become my stepmother. She would care for me while my dad worked as a bricklayer (which he still does today). By the time I began to talk, as far as I was concerned, my stepmother was my mother, and even today, I don’t call her “stepmom”, I call her mom.
For those who are wondering, yes, I have met my real mother. The first time was when I was eight. Because of when she kidnapped me, my father and stepmother didn’t trust her. While she was with us, she tried to win me over, as I reflect on it. She brought a book of sheet music because my parents had told her that I play the piano and even “promised” to take me to a Bon Jovi concert. Like many aspies, I was (and still am) naive and willing to trust people too easily, so I believed her. But I never went. The second time occurred during college. It’s not that I want nothing to do with her–she has made little to no effort to be a part of my life. Seldom have I received a Christmas card, a birthday card–not even a phone call. I don’t even have her e-mail, Facebook, whatever. Does this bother me? Very little. God has given me a better mother.
Why do I love my stepmother so much? It’s mostly for the time and energy she has put into raising and guiding me. She can be harsh and strict, but I need the structure she provides.
My stepmother fought for me throughout most of my schooling. When I was in kindergarten, I was the first in my class to learn to read. But my teacher felt I was not ready for first grade. I wasn’t tired enough for nap time and I was clumsy with my lunch tray, among other problems. But my mother disagreed, beginning the first of many battles. I was eventually taken for evaluation and it was discovered that my mother’s approach was working, so she was told to change nothing. This meant that I was in special ed, but by high school, I was finally mainstreamed.
I learned the hard way just how much I needed her structure when I went to college. During my first year, I had made both the Dean’s List and the President’s List. This inspired my parents to let me live on campus. I took full advantage of this newfound independence and spent very little time studying. Naturally, my grades suffered. I did eventually pass some of my classes with my mother’s help. But because I had refused to apply myself, my parents decided I would no longer be allowed to live in the dorms. I did eventually graduate and she pushed me every step of the way.
I am grateful to my mother for her willingness to sacrifice her time and energy to raise me properly. True I haven’t been a “model child”, but I love her.
So, let’s hear it for all the mothers out there who shape and mold us into what we are supposed to be.
Hey, what do you expect? I was an 80’s kid.