see, it's not that i don't love being a stepmother. quite the opposite, as a matter of fact. it's just that even now, with a legal title and a definite place in the boy's life, i know it's still somewhat tenuous. i mean, if my husband and i ever get a divorce i have no legal right to be in stepson's life. the weird thing is the almost proprietary feeling i've developed toward him, like genetics or not, this is my kid to take care of, damn it. i take these dental appointments and checkups and homework sessions very seriously. (too seriously? how serious are you supposed to be about fluoride treatments?) i have to occasionally remind myself, hey, this is not my kid. take it down a notch. this could all go away at any time.
he and i have become very attached to one another. last night i gave him a mohawk. today he told me the haircut made him feel manly. (for the record, i held in the giggle until he was out of the car and on the playground.) this is just the sort of thing a 7 year old spouts off with, i suppose. see, i have no experience raising children. none. i have no kids of my own, did minor amounts of babysitting as a teen, and was really just the cool "aunt" to my friends' kids throughout my 20s. so while other stepmoms talk about blending families and integrating the kids, i don't have any of that worry. but i also don't have any of that knowledge. every single day is an exercise in experimentation and, occasionally, futility. i tend to refer to the cosby show a lot for advice. if cliff or claire would have encountered situation a or b, what would they have done? and there is my answer. just do what bill cosby would do. it seems to be working. stepson and i haven't killed each other once yet. we're pretty proud of this.
when does a kid become yours in some sense? do you have to be the one to give birth or to adopt? or is it when you put them to bed at night and listen with amusement when it's your name they call because they want to talk about "just one more thing" before they go to sleep? i guess it doesn't really matter. the kid freaking owns me. i think he knows it, too.