Saturday, May 30, 2009

Mother of two.

I have long considered myself a mother of two. Even before my son was born, I was a mother of one. One beautiful, sweet, lovely (step)daughter. It is hard for me to call her a stepdaughter. It just doesn't seem right. She has been in my life for such a long time, she feels like part of me, so I call her my child.

Not in a freaky stepmother kind of way, mind you. I had one of those a long time ago and learned a lot from that experience.

I was so incredibly blessed when this girl officially came into my life nine years ago. I was so nervous. I knew how bad a step-relationship could be, and I did everything I could to make the experience easier for her. But I didn't need to. She and I were thisclose from the very first time we met.

I don't know how I got so lucky. I never dealt with tantrums, never any anger, never blame. She welcomed me with sweet, open, nine-year-old arms.

Tomorrow she graduates from high school, and as hard as I am trying to keep the tears from pouring as I type, I just can't. She is a beauty, inside and out, and I am so incredibly proud of her.

The past nine years went by in a blink. No more begging to play Life, Sorry and Whoville-opoly all in one sitting. No more sitting at the table and trying to work through impossible fourth grade math problems. No more being afraid to sleep alone at night. And no more kicking us both out of bed (literally) while she slept. No more gymnastics in the family room. No more paint fights with her girlfriends when they are supposed to be painting her room. No more choir concerts, competitions, football games. No more seeing her whenever I want.

I hope she will continue to bring her sweet, crazy, funny friends over, and raid the fridge, eat all the food and stay up so late I am staring at the clock wondering when I will get to fall asleep. I hope she will continue to do little craft projects with me. I hope she will continue to keep me as a confidant and not be afraid to tell me anything, even when it starts with "Don't tell Dad..."

I dream of the day we drop her off at college. I think this is hard...leaving her there will fill me with so much pride and angst I don't know what I'll do. I dream of the day she finds the "one" and wants to start a life with him. I dream of the day she finds the job that she absolutely loves. And I dream of the day (hopefully a while from now!) that she has her own child, "step" or otherwise. So she can begin to understand how deeply we love her.

For now, I will need to get through tomorrow. I am so filled with emotion...I've put off all thoughts of this day, on purpose. It was too hard to comprehend. I am so proud, so excited, so sad.

My sweet step daughter at just a few years old, on stage with her Daddy:

Here she is on stage a young woman:
Tomorrow she'll be on stage becoming an adult. I don't know if my heart can take it.

55 comments:

  1. It's a strange kind of pain/happiness, isn't it? Wonderful to see them grow and be well

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  2. What a sweet, touching post. She is lucky to have you.

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  3. I'm speechless this was so beautifully written Sarah.
    You two are blessed to have each other.

    Congrats to the graduate!

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  4. thanks for pouring your heart out. I can tell your love for her. If only all "step" mothers were like you are... she is a beautiful young lady!!!!!! I just wanted to say thanks for this great blog I am obsesed over..all we need now are OUTSIDE pics!!!!!!!!! lol

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  5. That made me cry! I don't even have kids but I already think of what it must be like to watch your babies grow up. I think I would want to keep mine 1-2 years old forever!

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  6. Oh bless your heart.... that was the sweetest post ever!!!!! Try to enjoy tomorrow and the summer....I can't imagine when my babies get old enough. Kindergarden killed me!!!

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  7. Oh, how I wish my stepmother had loved me this way. Bless you! And thanks for sharing!

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  8. What a sweet post and such a tribute to true love...

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  9. She is beautiful! It is so wonderful to hear of healthy step parent/child relationships.

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  10. That was a beautiful tribute to Your Daughter! We don't choose our family, right? Well look at that. You girls got to choose your family and look how blessed you are for it!
    Good luck tomorrow.
    Wishes for years and years of blessings for all of you.
    *Tricia

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  11. That was such a beautifully written post! They grow up so quickly and I am not looking forward to the day when my 14 year old is ready to leave home. Sigh.

    I love that first photo. You can tell by the expression on his face that her daddy just adores her!

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  12. I cried reading this! I have a similar story, however I am the step daughter to a step Dad, but I can honestly tell you that I have NEVER called him my step Dad, he is and will always be my Dad. I have a Biological father whom I nicked name Bio when I was a kid, but all he did was give me his genes, my Dad is my Father who has loved me and cared for me as his own. Most people don't even know that he isn't my real father. So don't feel bad about calling her daughter, no need to add the 'step' to anything. Have a wonderful day tomorrow and thank you for sharing your story.

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  13. Oh, that's such a sweet post.

    I haven't experienced a child growing up like this, but I am about to experience my baby sister getting married. She's 27 and has dated her soon-to-be for 8 years, but she's still my little sister. There is no way I'm going to be able to hold it together for my MOH toast.

    Enjoy tomorrow!

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  14. So I have that "trying-not-to-cry lump-in-my-throat" feeling! I can feel from your words how much you adore and love her! I too understand this, one of my 5 is my step-son. Even though I didn't get to be there from the beginning, he has grown in my heart. I have been his other mom since he was 3 and he now will be turning 13 this Sept. I love him. He might not always be with our family, but as soon as he is~our family feels complete again. He will be back with us this week in fact on the 4th! YAY! Your daughter is beautiful and I can tell amazing! I am sure there is mixed emotions of happiness and sadness. I too will have a very hard day when 4 yrs. from now this experience will be mine as well. I send you a hug and know she will still be calling you, needing your advice as her mother.

    Hugs to you,
    ~Victoria~
    OH, thank you for such sweet comments you left me and on my daughter. I love her soo much!

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  15. Sarah - I have been stalking your blog for a while and I have to agree that this post was beautifully written. My daughter is turning 10 in June and I can't even comprehend the events that will take place over the next 8 years. I am excited and already filled with a slight bit of sadness at the thought of her being an adult and taking on the challenges of this world and everyday living.

    I hope your daughter feels the love you have for as truly as we all have felt it through your fingertips.

    Be strong....and enjoy the relationship that you are still building....

    B:)

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  16. So sweet....she is blessed to be so loved and adored by you! I have 2 more years until my oldes graduates, and I am already crying that I have such a short time w/ him! I am cherishing every moment and SMOTHERING him over the next 2 years! GOOD LUCK to her an CONGRATS on her graduation!!

    Blessings....
    Amy

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  17. What a wonderful post! I love how you I can hear you talk when you write!

    Enjoy every second of tomorrow and take lots of pictures and give lots of hugs!

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  18. I have a stepson who I consider my real son too. His father (my hubby) always says he is so much like me. I always tell him that there was a mixup in heaven before he was born that he was suppose to be mine. So that is the real reason God put the two of us together, so that I could be reunited with his son (who should have been mine). It's my story & I'm sticking to it. By the way, my stepson is also graduating from high school but not till next week.

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  19. I loved this post! I am a mother of two as well, but we are just starting out. I have a two year old and a three month old. This post made me excited for the day I get to write such a post and tell everyone how proud I am of them. I love your blog and am so excited to be looking for a home right now. I want to try so many things I have seen you do. You inspire me and I am glad you are willing to do consulting! I was so excited to read that a while back!

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  20. That is so sweet! You are both lucky to have each other in your lives

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  21. Sarah, you put into words precisely how I have been feeling as well this week, My "baby" girl graduated Friday evening and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I went through a similar time with my son, but she is my youngest. So many new beginnings but the end of some of the sweetest times of our lives. So, I am with you in spirit. I am sure she will continue the closeness she has with you. Maybe in a new and more grown up way, as both a true daughter and a true friend. I wish you and your family all the blessings the future can bring, Pam

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  22. Well, I am trying to post a comment through my tears. I have two daughters...now 24 and 20...and know just exactly how you are feeling. Whether they are step or biological, a daughter is such a blessing. I love having them in the house...which happens less and less now. Enjoy each other's company this summer before she heads off to college. Take care ~Natalie

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  23. So, lovely. I have tears in my eyes too. Congratulations.

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  24. I am sitting hear with tears coming down. The love of a mother for a child is impossible to put into words, but you did a pretty darn good job. That was beautifully written. You can "hear" the love and pride.

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  25. What a great mommy you are! you is lucky to have you ;)

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  26. My daughter will be a junior this fall. I'm certain I'll be feeling all the pride, love and sadness you so eloquently wrote about.

    This summer, realizing that my oldest will soon be doing what your beautiful daughter is, I'm drinking it all in. I'm absorbing every moment. Geez, how did time fly by so quickly?

    Have a great time at the graduation. Wear waterproof mascara! :-) I know I will when it's my turn.

    Blessings!

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  27. ...And her heart grew in size 10 million times....God bless you all!

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  28. I am so excited for you guys. Congrats to you all. It is incredible to see a "step" relationship that is so functional. I know a bunch of families that could take tips from you two.

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  29. Beautiful post!! I hope your (step) daughter reads it, but I am betting she already knows how much you love her! Congratulations on raising a wonderful teenager...gives me hope for my future with two girls. ;)

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  30. Aww! It's obvious how much you love this girl! The two of you are soo lucky to have such a wonderful relationship!

    Enjoy Graduation today, and take lots of pictures!

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  31. Oh how blessed you are (and to KNOW it is even better!)! A Mother/Daughter bond is like no other. Sounds like you raised a wonderful girl!

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  32. Oh my gosh, that literally brought tears to my eyes. You and your (step)daughter are so lucky to have each other.

    I have 2 wonderful step parents and a whole gaggle of step siblings, and I can't imagine my life without them.

    Congrats to your daughter!

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  33. With all of the 'steps' in our family, I've pretty much done away with the term.. We are all just family because where there is love there are no 'steps'.

    Di
    The Blue Ridge Gal

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  34. Congratulations to her!! And HUGS to you!

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  35. Our family is comprised of a similar makeup. While technically my children are "half" brother and sister, we are not allowed to use that term as we decided long ago that our family would love one another with our "whole" hearts.

    Enjoy the day and make some precious memories.

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  36. I wonderful post. I was blessed with a wonderful step-mother. She loved me and took care of me like I was her own. Even after her marriage to my father ended and she remarried, she still kept in touch and loved me as much as she ever did. She died very unexpectedly almost 3 years ago. I really miss her....

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  37. what a precious post, you went and made me cry :)
    deezie

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  38. Oh, she's lovely. Congratulations. You have obviously done well in your part in raising her.

    Oh, and when I considered myself a mother of one before my son was born, except I was referring to my husband, who is a great big kid :oP

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  39. What a sweet post. Congrats to your girl!

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  40. She is so beautiful! Congratulations.

    Although, this makes me nervous and my daughter's only two years old! I can't believe she'll walk across the graduation stage some day and leave me. Yikes. Hang in there!

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  41. She is probably the most well-adjusted graduate of 2009!

    Congrats to all of you! Have a fun summer with her!

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  42. Such a sweet post. I beautiful to hear of the relationship you have with your daughter. Love crosses all boundaries - it's even greater than DNA.

    Here's wishing you both the best!
    Pam

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  43. She is beautiful! Congratulations to her and your family. It is amazing how fast the time flies by!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  44. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful testimony of the love you have for your daughter. It reminds me to cherish every moment with my two little girls.
    Blessings,
    Marie
    http://emmacallsmemama.com

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  45. Your post made my cry. I have 4 children. I birthed all 4, but with 2 different husbands. When #1 left and I married #2 (years later), he was the father to end all fathers to ALL of my children. He never made any difference in his biological children and his "step"children. He was killed 10 months ago and we are all struggling. You are SO INCREDIBLY BLESSED to have the relationship you have.

    Don't think it is a small thing that you have this. You made a conscious effort to make this beautiful child your daughter, simply because you loved her father. How wonderful of you and I know she will never, ever forget it and never, ever stop loving you.

    I'm proud for you, sad with you and so happy for her. Have a wonderful graduation and enjoy this summer together. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  46. God bless you both! How wonderful that you have grown together in your relationship. Have a wonderful summer together. I guarantee you, the memories will only get better.

    Charla

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  47. Oh, my goodness, this got me all choked up. How wonderful that you've had each other all these years! It really is almost scary how fast the time goes. I'm already worrying about my son leaving for college because I know it'll be here before I know it! He's starting high school in the fall, and even that seems surreal.

    What a beautiful post!

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  48. Beautifully written. I too have a s- son. I too don't like saying step. My blog address is http://rhondas3boys...he is included. I met him at age 5...time has flown!!!! He just graduated HS too...and I feel the way you do.

    So cool she had you in her life and sounds like you all had a great relationship. I hope that it will continue for the both of us!

    Love your blog...so inspiring!! Keep it up!

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  49. Oh, I know. I know. My sweet little red-headed baby graduates from high school this Friday. What on earth happened? How did he get to be a man? Yet there he is, bigger than I am, smarter than I am, cooler than I am. How will I make it when he walks across that stage to collect his diploma?

    I wish I could let you cry on my shoulder. I'd cry on yours, too.

    God bless you.

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  50. What a beautiful post. She's such a lucky young woman to have you in her life. Good luck tomorrow...I will have to hold back the tears on Saturday as my son graduates from high school. Where do the days go...he was just a little tyke!!!

    Hugz,
    Michele

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  51. What a sweet post!

    My 2 big kids have a step mom that sounds a lot like you.

    As a mom who had to let another woman come into her life and fill a mother role, it has been really tough. I am so thankful that she loves them with all her heart. Some days it's tough to let them leave, but I know they are in great hands with someone who loves them deeply.

    Thank you for being that kind of mom to your girl.

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  52. She is a beautiful young lady! Such an amazing and wonderful time! We are only 3 years away from that with my (step)son who I also hate using that term. Amazing how quickly it happens isn't it?

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  53. Ahhh..I totally understand this emotion, I have two amazing step sons. Yesterday the youngest turned 30...howdathappen? The eldest is getting married in July (OMG!! NEXT MONTH!!!) to a wonderful girl and the youngest will be engaged right after that (I know cause her ring is in my bed side table HEHEHE)
    The best part? I get along grreat with their mum too. I got lucky like you...great kids!

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  54. I have a "step" mom whom I just adore. Her name is Julie, and she's not my step mom, she's my Julie.

    I'm about to become a "step" mom myself, and have decided to call my 2 new sons my "bonus sons" rather than step sons - when someone requires clarification... otherwise they'll simply be my boys.

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