When Brian and I started dating, I knew that our relationship had the possibility to turn into a lifetime. In youth group in middle school and high school, we covered a lesson a couple of times, and my youth pastor reiterated to not date someone unless you can see yourself marrying them. Dating is about finding out what qualities in another person that you like and desire for your future spouse, so his advice made some sense. It wasn't until I was actually starting to date how much more sense it made to me.
Brian had 2 kids when he and I started dating. I knew going into the relationship, that if this turned out to be a secure, long-term love affair, I would be "mom" to his kids. Based on what he had told me about his ex-wife (the mother of his kids), I was going to be more of a mother to them without even trying too hard.
When I met the kids, I loved them instantly. It wasn't long after I moved in that they started calling me "mom", and the second day that I was here (still just visiting), E asked me to never leave. She asked me to always live with them. I almost cried!
The first time Brian's ex called the house, she didn't even ask to talk to the kids. What kind of a mom calls her ex-husband's phone and doesn't ask to speak with her children?! I was appalled. This mother thing was already going well for me. There have been at least 4 calls where she has called and not spoken to the kids. Last fall, when we were going through all of the earthquakes here in OK, she didn't call to check on the kids, she didn't care if they were okay (to be fair, I'm quite certain that she cared, but she didn't show that she did). E would get really bad stomach aches at night, and Brian and I had decided that she was scared of the earthquakes. But what about when she got stomach aches in the few days leading up to the Christmas trip to their mom's?
She called again, to arrange the meeting place and time for tomorrow. We are taking the kids to meet their mom in Tulsa. She didn't ask to talk to them, and they are so excited to see her. If she only knew how awesome her kids are, she would want to know everything that they do. She doesn't ask about their grades, and she hasn't bothered to order very many school pictures. The only reason she ordered some this year was because we called and asked if she wanted to.
I am so lucky that I have these two little blessings in my life. They are very intelligent, very polite kids! I have no idea why "she" doesn't want to know about them.
Based on my experience with divorced parents and their interactions with each other, I thought that it was going to be a living nightmare dealing with Brian's ex. I was completely surprised by how little she interacts with the kids. She'll call about once every month and a half, and sees them about 3 times a year. She has always been civil with me when we have to talk on the phone, much like tonight. It's easier dealing with her than I ever thought possible, but part of it is because she doesn't engage the kids very often. I feel like if she did, she and I would have similar problems that my mom and step-mom had...
Recently, both A and E have been saying, "You're the best mommy!" to me. I tell A that he is the best son in the world, and I tell E that she is the best daughter in the world. When Brian and I have our own kids, I will have to change that to "A, you are the best oldest son in the world!" and "E, you are the best oldest daughter in the world!", much like my mom did with me and my younger sister. Being called the "best" mommy, when I'm not even their birth mom is so amazing!!! I love that feeling.
Brian was right, (in my opinion) I am a better mom than she is, and I don't have to try all that hard!