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.