To the Child I Chose to Love:
When I met you, I was not prepared in any way to adore you. I was not prepared to care where you were in the universe. I was not prepared to feel so much pride when someone mentioned your name. I was not prepared for anything that came along with you.
When I met your dad, I was a selfish girl that was not willing to put anyone first – that spot was reserved for me. I never wanted to share attention. I knew you were part of the package, and I just was not sure I wanted that package. I had never been so unsure of anything in my life … not because you lacked anything. In fact, it was because I lacked so much. I lacked everything necessary to be a parent. I was the center of my universe, and I was more than content to keep it that way. You were a part of the equation I never planned on, but you have become one of my favorite parts.
Suddenly, and without warning, I loved you.
Suddenly you became one of the most important, funny, absolute joys of my life. You became someone I never wanted to live without. I loved you before I had any idea what parenthood was. I loved you before I carried a child for nine months. Those first few years I probably sucked at it, but you were so patient with me. You loved me even when I was unworthy of your love. You loved me through the rough patches and imperfections. You taught me how to let someone else be a part of the center of the universe.
Becoming your step-mom changed me in profound ways.
Ways I could never put into words. You were the child but you helped me become a grown up. I never realized that by welcoming you into my life I would never have less, always more. More love, more attention, more happiness. You taught me how to love unselfishly and how to fight for someone with everything inside because you believe they deserve the entire world. You taught me blood is not the only thing that defines a family – love does.
You showed me that a ten-year-old little boy can change everything. You never knew that one of the sweetest phrases I have heard is when you looked at me and said, “you can be my step-mom.” You approved of the hot mess standing in front of you, and you wanted to keep me as much as I wanted to keep you. We have spent over a decade together figuring it all out. I could not be prouder of the man you have become and the things you have accomplished. I could not be prouder to be a part of your amazing life.
We grew up together.
Even though there were times you were the adult, and I was the one throwing a tantrum. You were the one willing to share your world and you were the unselfish one. You were and still are worth every risk and every sleepless night. Even though your life brought you across the world from me you are still one of the most important people in my world.
You went from something I never planned to someone I cannot imagine my world without. I know you have two parents that love you more than anything. I know my blood does not run through your veins. I did not carry you inside of my body. I did not see you take your first breath or your first steps, but I have cherished every milestone I have had the pleasure of witnessing. I am a better person because of that sweet little boy I met one cold New Years Eve. The little boy that stole my heart and turned into a man that has never stopped amazing me.
Now we video chat on birthdays and special occasions instead of having cake and parties. We send funny pictures of the things we love because we cannot share them in person. You decided to be a better person yet again when you decided that you would dedicate your time defending our country and amazed me once again.
Because of your brave choices, we do not get to eat spaghetti and watch Star Wars as much as we would love to – just know you are always in my heart. There isn’t a place far enough that my love will not follow. What I am trying to say as eloquently as possible is that I am beyond grateful for your love. I am beyond grateful for every memory we have shared and all those yet to come.
I do not know what I did to deserve you; I just know that I am the lucky one that has been blessed to be able to love you.
A mom, step-mom, wife and lover of words. I have an English degree from the University of Louisiana Lafayette. I have been freelancing for different publications for 12 years. I am a native of Lafitte, Louisiana, but spend my days in NOLA!