In this photo, Cole is furious with me. It was taken at the mall, and the studio has a glass window. Evidently, he saw a friend walk by and was mortified. We got into a bit of a fight when I told him the session wasn't over yet, and he assured me, that yes, it was. The photographer snuck an individual photo when he was posing with the boys.
He does not like this photo, but I adore it. I see pre-teen angst all over him. I'm going to keep it for when he has teenagers and remind him that they all feel angry sometimes. Besides, he's a gorgeous kid.
Last fall, we entered the "you're not my mom" phase. We've actually only had a couple blow-ups, and they were awful, but they've been good for both of us. They've forced us both to admit (to each other) that our relationship is different. I'm not his mom, and he's not my son. I've also gotten to remind him that I chose him, and I love him as much as if he was. I suppose he'll stay in this phase for the rest his teenage years, and remind me periodically, but we'll get through it.
Here's what I want him to learn from me, his kind-of mom:
1. Be everything you can be. Be it well.
2. Do what you love. It'll be easier to do well if you enjoy it.
3. Respect all women. All the time.
4. Be a good man. A good boyfriend, fiance, husband, father.
5. Love God and respect all that He made.
6. Be good to your brothers. Be good to your mom.
7. Respect your father. Try to become the kind of man he is.
8. Love your stepmom. She's far from perfect, but she did her best.