Not of my flesh and blood, nor bone of my bone, but you are still miraculously
my own. I have never forgotten for a single minute, that while you didn't
grow under my heart, you grew in it.
I always said from the time I was old enough to have such thoughts, that I was never going to get married, never have children, never going to settle down. I was going to travel the world, move to Boston and write. I was going to live my life through characters in books and through articles for the Boston Globe. I would have occasional boyfriends, but no one was ever going to get my heart. Seriously though, from as early as I can remember this was my dream. People at arm's length and never close enough to hurt me. Vulnerable was not a word in my life's dictionary. Until that Spring in 2004, when I met the man I was to call husband and his son. My heart never stood a chance. All the best laid plans, all the walls that I had so artfully constructed, fell apart. Almost in an instance, though I fought it for awhile. Who were these 2 people that wanted to invaded my life, my very solitary life? I was 26 and very comfortable on my own. Independent, strong and definitely not looking.
Once I finally stopped fighting it, and began what would be my life from then on, meeting the guy's son for the first time, should have been awkward at least. But nope, not ever for a second. From the moment he and I first laid eyes on each other, and had our "sword" fight, him with his crutches (he had broken his leg) and me with a plastic sword from the fair we were at, were immediate best of friends. Our bond was instantaneous, and would only grow stronger. He was 5, I was 26. I was well on my way to jaded, coffee drinker writer that spent time in coffee houses and at my desk creating lives for my characters. Instead because of them, I became a character, in my own life. I never thought I would ever be a wife, let alone a mother. To say I was a bit lost would be an understatement. But a year later, the man proposed and 4 months after that, we married. The during the ceremony I presented the kid with a family medallion, a small silver pendant with 3 interlocking circles, representing that I was not only marrying his father, but him too. That we were a family, a strong family. And that while I would never be his "mother", I swore that he would always be my son. That while he may not have grown under my heart, he grew in it. Our bond is that of a mother and a son, except, we are friends first. We talk about everything and anything, we plan for the future, we laugh, we have fun. We became a family.
Needless to say that while our lives meshed seamlessly, it wasn't the case with his mother. I have made it clear from the beginning, that I never wanted to replace her, be her or take over. That the kid and I were the best of friends first and foremost. That while I have come to feel him a son, that I know I am not his mother. Her jealously at the beginning was expected, and I rolled with it. Thinking that over time it would lessen and she would see it for what it was. It hasn't, actually has gotten worse over the years, but I refuse to ever let it shadow what he and I have. This kid is so special, so intuitive, so creative, so mischievous and has best damn giggle . I will not allow her negativity into our relationship. Never had I spoken negative to him about her, she is his mother and I respect that. But seriously the shit she has pulled over the years I think to ultimately try and drive me away, has made me shake my head. My wish is that someday she will just get over it and understand. Of course knowing now what I didn't know then, probably will never happen. She really isn't a nice person, actually not really at all. She lives in a world of make believe and her selfishness continues to surprise me.
However, because of the love I have for the kid, I will take it from her. He deserves all the love and things that this life has to offer. The man and I intend for him to have it. Love, strength, boundaries and knowledge. A solid base for the kid to build upon and become a man. He turned 13 recently, and while he may have his teenager moments already, he will never lose that charm, that devilish grin and eyes that will make your heart melt. He is truly a magical kid and I am so fortunate that The Man and The Kid decided to invade my life. Looking back now, this morning, I can't imagine my life turning out any other way. I have to say that I am excited to see the man that my stepson will grow to be. His heart and his innate want to help others is tremendous. He sees the world very similar to me, as a chance to reach out to people less fortunate or sad or in need. Just as not long ago, he pulled together some of his toys because he wanted to give them to some children that had lost all of theirs. Or how excited he gets to volunteer with me for The Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome, and how his teachers say that he always stands up for the special kids at school, befriends them and treats them as he treats everyone, without judgement. I am proud to call him son, though not of my flesh and bone, but of my heart. ♥
JV Manning's work and keep her in coffee ♥
©JVManning 2020 All Rights Reserved