Friday, November 12, 2010

The Teenager and His Mom

A couple months ago, my stepson's mom (my co-mom), Kelly, told me that she and her boyfriend had put in an offer on a home 45 minutes away.  She was concerned about my reaction, and I think I surprised her when I was immediately supportive.  Cole had already mentioned it, so the surprise factor was missing for one thing.  (And when he told me, I cried.  So I had already crossed that off the list.)

Kelly is a wonderful mom and a really good friend.  She's always been so supportive of me and I would not have been able to be a successful stepmom to Cole without her kindness and support.  She always backs me up.  Always.  And we're a strong united parenting force, and for the rest of my life I will be so grateful for our relatively uncomplicated blended family.  (Disclaimer: No relationship is perfect, and ours is no exception.  But it's really good.)

When I thought about Cole moving away (except for the eight months we were in Iowa, we've never lived more than four miles apart), I was so sad.  The boys will miss him so much.  I will miss him so much.  He's such a wonderful person.  The past year of his life have been amazing.  He's grown into a person I can have regular conversations with.  He's helpful and kind, and calm.  We talk things through and he shares his life with me.  I adore him.

Kelly has spent the past ten years or so raising Cole in a small house in a nearby town.  She has worked hard to make sure his needs were always met.  Now that she's expecting her second baby with her boyfriend, they have definitely outgrown her little house.  And when I think of how supportive she's always been of our life changes (the job in Iowa, our new homes, jobs, etc.), I knew I couldn't withhold my support now. She's going to have a big house with plenty of space for all of them.  And she deserves that. 

Cole is really excited about the move.  And I'm sort of grooving the idea of him going to a smaller high school.  I never missed living in a small town until I had kids of my own.  There is something amazing about growing up knowing all of your classmates.  I will miss that for the rugrats. 

Our visition will naturally change. But when I think of his age (and the fact that he'll be a freshman in high school (high school!  how did that happen already?!), I realize that visitation will probably happen in the  next couple years anyway.  And now that he's older, and presumably well-adjusted, and understands his important role in our family, I think it'll be okay.  We'll hog him on holidays and in the summer, and whatever other time we can steal away.  He knows how much we love him and how much we need him in our lives.  The timing is better than if he were eight or nine.

At the end of the day, it's not perfect, but it's okay.  When I weighed the pros and cons, I realized that it will suit all of us better to be supportive of Kelly and her new opportunity.  I really am so happy for them.  And while I'll miss seeing The Teenager as much, I can't begrudge anyone this change.

Over and over I am grateful that my life gave me all this.  That Kelly has been so kind and loving and more than anything, so supportive of my role as Cole's stepmom.  I wish them God's blessings in their new home as they settle in later this year and wish them nothing but happiness.  I'm willing to shelve my selfish feelings and our time with Cole for their growing family.  Because many times over, she's done that for me.  I am SO blessed.


MindiJo said...

Wow, Leanne.

First of all: Yay! I am so glad that the two of you (as in you and Cole) have the relationship that you do at the present time. I know you have had struggles, so this is huge. I am so happy about that.

As for him moving- scary. You are an amazing person for having the attitude that you do have about all of this. I'm sure your unwavering support makes Kelly's life easier. And vice versa. You both are so blessed- and Cory, too- that you have this kind of relationship with each other. Most people in this type of situation do not. I'm not surprised, though. I'd actually be surprised if you didn't. That's the kind of person you are.

So big ((hugs)) and lots of love and support as they make this huge change in your life. I hope it goes well, all things considered. You are a strong person and have a great attitude about the whole situation. Maybe you didn't at first, but you do now. And that is what counts. It'll all work out, I am sure.

Look on the bright side: it will make the whole graduating and going off to college thing easier because you'll have some experience. ;)

Julie said...

What a blessing to have that relationship with Kelly! I'm sure it'll be hard to have Cole living further away but it's sweet that you're so gracious about it. Like Mindi said, I'm not really surprised though- it's just who you are. :) Hope the transition goes well for everyone, I'll say a prayer for your family.