Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Step-Mother

This is not an easy topic to write about. Nor is it an easy role to play. But I guess that can be said of parenting in general. I'm not even really sure what I want to say about being a stepmother. I just feel like it is something I need to meditate on, ramble about, think through...so bare with me...

My stepchildren are beautiful and bright. I love them and worry about them just as I do Shine and Song. I envision all of us enjoying family vacations together and board game night together and working in the garden together...just being together. And although we are finally together in the same country, there is still a great distance between us, both physical and emotional.

Warrior and Earth Mother live about 2 hours away in the care of their mother and their grandparents. Mom-in-law refers to them as the wandering Tribes of Isreal and it is an apt description. They have many homes and yet no home at all. It makes me sad. My heart breaks to think of them shuffled here and there and belonging no where. It was easier when they were younger. Although aware of certain truths, they seemed basically shielded from the animosity between the grown-ups. I think it is safe to say that they genuinely had happy-go-lucky childhoods.

Now that they are growing into adolescents, it is painfully obvious that they are starting to question the hand they have been dealt. With the announcement of our move to Kingston, I imagine that their hopes were raised that we would rescue them from their nomadic existence...finally a home, a real home. Unfortunately we have not been able to play the noble heros. We have not rescued them. I've seen the disappointment in their eyes when they have to say good bye and go "back". I've heard the sadness in their voices over the phone. Mo encourages them to keep their chins up, that change is coming, that things will be different...one day. Then he makes call after call seeking information on their well being, trying to weave together a net of support for them, making plans for that "one day"...I struggle with my role. Who am I in their eyes? Do I have the right to encourage? Am I in the position to advise? Do I subconsciously favor Shine and Song over them? Am I being fair? If they do come live with us, will they eat the jerk tofu I prepare for dinner? Drink the almond milk? Enjoy life without TV? What will become of them? Who will they grow to be?


Heather said...

I think this is perfectly normal in your situation..but knowing YOU, I know that there is SO much love in your heart. You will do whatever you can to make life better for everyone---you've already proven that! :) I am sure there will never be a day that you don't question "things." And until you can rescue them from the Tribe, dream and plan...because hope is what it all boils down to.

Sarah said...

I seem to be following Heather from blog to blog today... Being a stepmother is to be in a perpetual state of balancing on an invisible fence. I err on the side of love, plain and simple, and trust that the right words/emotions/actions will come at precisely the right moment. Stay strong, and love well.

Rae said...

thank you both! i appreciate your support. there are occassional flare ups that happen between the adults and we are just coming out of one them, so i've just been sad about the situation lately and wondering what, if anything to do. the kids have both sounded down and out the last few times we've talked to them. but you are right, dream, plan and love...
thanks again for your kind words :)