"Hi! My name is Nathan and I'm gonna be a soldier when I grow up!"
These were the first words my son ever said to me. He was three, very small for his age with a shaggy mop of blond hair. His enormous blue eyes were framed by the longest lashes I had ever seen. Seriously.... women pay huge sums of money to achieve what this little guy came by naturally.
He couldn't pronounce my name. He called me Stephtee--a name I still use today.
It wasn't love at first sight--for either of us. I had absolutely no experience with children. Nathan was used to being cared for by his grandmother. After Jeff and Nathan's mother went their separate ways, Jeff's mother assumed most of the parenting duties while Jeff was working. It took some time before Jeff and I figured out what type of parents we wanted to be and we definitely made lots of mistakes along the way.
But without even realizing it, one day I just felt like a mom.
My own mom is actually my step-mother. My father always taught me "There is no such thing as step". My mom is my mom. My sisters are my sisters. We are a family. Once I was pregnant with Addy, I knew that was a rule we needed to embrace.
In our house, there is no such thing as step AND there are no half-siblings.
We are a family. Plain and simple.
I never asked Nathan to call me 'Mom'...in fact, he used to call both his moms by their first names. Shortly after Bear was born, Nathan asked me if he should start calling me 'Mom'. I told him that it didn't matter what he called me because I knew, in my heart, that I was his mom.
When he hugged me and told me that he'd decided to start calling me 'Mom', I cried. It was, to date, one of the happiest moments of my life.
Twelve years...three more kids...a million arguments....laughter....joy....tears....and, occasionally....some fun. Where does the time go?
Tuesday, my oldest son is turning fifteen! The blonde hair has since turned to brown but he still has some of the bluest eyes around (rivaled only by his little brother). Those lashes are still long and full...so much that they rub against his glasses when he blinks--which drives him nuts. More importantly, he's turned into such a smart, funny, and interesting young man.
I'm amazed by how quickly the time is passing and how fast my little boy is growing up.
I can't wait to see how he turns out.
Bring on the next fifteen years!!
(No pics because....you know....he's too cool to have his picture taken these days)