I was engaged in a whirlwind. I blurted out “We should get married” not ten days into the romance. On our way home I drunkenly called both of my parents over the Bluetooth in my car for Bill to ask permission. Granted, we had been friends for a year. But it was decided on that fateful day on our friend Johnny’s boat on the St. Croix River.
I was thirty-six years old.
Four years previous, my doctor at Planned Parenthood had told me to have a baby and figure out the man part later- my clock was ticking. I was appalled. I told her that wasn’t how I was raised.
bolsa de pierna decathlon
Adidas Stan Smith
napihljivi fotelj merkur
nike air zoom pegasus 36 w
replika spor ayakkabı toptan
ted baker aurinkolasit
νακ παπουτσια πεδιλα
Now I had figured the man part out. He had two teenagers from his previous marriage- Hope, 15, and Morgan, 17. And a vasectomy.
Now sober, I had realized that this kid thing was something I had to come to terms with. Not that Bill had children but rather did I want to have my own?
I have to admit, it wasn’t how I pictured things. I wanted children for as long as I could remember. In my twenties, I got a dog to try to satisfy my desire. And I always volunteered on some level with children.
My mom was in a relationship with the man who eventually became my stepdad when I was Hope and Morgan’s age and I didn’t like it. That heavily weighed on my decision process.
So I told Bill that, for Hope (who I hadn’t met yet), Morgan (who I met briefly), and even his sake, I didn’t want to have children.
We were wed nearly a year later and by that time I had met Hope twice or three times and Morgan was in basic training for the National Guard and wasn’t in attendance.
A month and a half after our wedding, my nurse practitioner suspected something and suggested that I get an ultrasound. No, it wasn’t a baby. It was a cyst the size of a grapefruit on my uterus. I had my hysterectomy the next month.
I never mourned the loss as I might have imagined. It was strange and foreign to know that I was having my last period. It was cause to celebrate, but how? All of my ideas seemed witchy and barbaric. Like throwing my bloody tampons into a bonfire while chanting and holding hands with other womenfolk. What I did instead was ditch the tampons and went with the free flow.
Bill and I are celebrating our seven-year anniversary soon and, while it may seem like I hardly had a choice, I have never regretted the decision not to have children. It was a matter-of-fact choice and I never looked back. The hysterectomy was just the punctuation.
When it came to defining my relationships with Hope and Morgan, I was very intentional about being available for whatever they may have wanted or not wanted from me. I didn’t try to be any sort of mother figure. In fact, I didn’t want to be. I was way too cool to be associated with anything matronly. They were old enough to create and define our relationship together and I was just ready for whatever that was.
It wasn’t always easy. The year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day, the kids wanted to have Thanksgiving dinner together… with their mother. It was important to them and all of us parents sucked it up. Happy Birthday to me and nice to meet you! We were all on our best behavior… you know.. for the kids. And it was ok.
In these past seven years, Hope and Morgan have given me so much more than I ever believed possible.
I’ve gotten to see Hope enter college, spread her wings, and learn who she is rather than what others wanted her to be. She traveled to Thailand, got her heart broken, and came back needing a place to crash while she figured things out. We were happy to be that place.
Morgan completed his service with the National Guard and entered the sheet metal union, working in the Twin Cities. Staying true to his roots, he made his home in a small town in Wisconsin with a commute of over an hour a day. Having such a big heart, he ended up with two, large untrained dogs in his small bachelor pad. He asked Bill and me to help with his Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Odin, when a job extended his commute.
Both kids have brought their laundry over, stayed over, and called us to get together. Both Bill and I sit back in amazement that they want anything to do with us. I mean, they are in their twenties- shouldn’t they be out partying or something?
I also advocate for them to Bill. I explain to him that they have to learn life’s lessons the hard way- just like he did- when they don’t take his advice. Or that he should relax when they are around. I also pick out way better Christmas gifts than Bill would.
On Mother’s Day, they both call me. I never asked for that nor expect it.
Bill and I recently bought a house not far from Morgan’s. Morgan has been over every weekend to help on his own accord and even offered his truck for the move. Morgan wants us to be a big part of Odin’s life and I said I would help train his other dog, too.
And Hope is having a baby! My first grandchild. I was in disbelief at the news. Then the realization hit me- I get to be in wonder with her. I get to ask her about what her body is doing and have this wonderful baby vicariously through her. Plus, shopping in the baby department is the best! I get that experience, after all.
I have stood back and both received and given love to Hope and Morgan. Watching their lives has been such a gift. Being a part of it is an even bigger honor. The stepmother’s experience has not been a consolation prize. It is the prize.