in their bedroom.
After a week of being here for Spring Break, I went in to clean up, even though they had "cleaned" the room. I grabbed a blanket off M's bunk; he sleeps on top, and began to fold it. I reached up to place it on his bed and I got the subtlest whiff of little boy smell. I mushed my face into the mattress. I took a deep breath, and when I exhaled a long, lonely, echoing sob escaped my throat. It welled up from down in my soul somewhere. I think, perhaps it was hiding in my foot all day.
In their room, I am surrounded by their toys, clothes, messies, blankets, smells...and sometimes it is all too much. Mostly, I keep the doors to their room shut. They have one that leads to the hall, and one that leads to the living room. I pretend like that room isn't really there.
After a visit, and they are gone, I clean it spic and span. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I sit in there in the middle of the floor and stare at their things. I wonder what kind of men they will become. I worry. I dream. I give thanks. I sob. I miss them. I treasure them. I hope for them. I want good things for them. I need them. I hope they need me.
When they are gone, I miss our family. When they are here it is so crazy making. It is almost too much. I have to depoof when they go. On some level, I am a touch relieved. Then, usually within a few hours, I hear the silence. It is deafening. Then I just cry for the family I wish we could be. We've lost so much time together this last year and a half - ever since the custody agreement changed and we lost time with the boys. They grow and we miss it. They change and we miss it. They do something wonderful at school and we miss it. They make a new friend and we miss it. They play sports and we miss it. G has a band concert and we miss it.
No wonder I commit the sin of coveting on a daily basis where they are concerned. I covet our time with them and I covet all the time that "she" gets that goes unappreciated and unnoticed.
I miss the boys. This constant "missing" is wearing me out. I'm not sure how much longer I can go on missing them. Someday, I will have to come to terms with the way things are in our lives with regards to the children. We have been relegated to being nothing more than visitors in their lives. That's what the court calls it when we see them - "visitation!"
I am a great stepmom, but perhaps this is so because I have no choice but to cherish every second I have in that roll. Maybe God doesn't think I'd be a good full time stepmom?? Maybe I'm not up for the task. Maybe I am and such questions are pointless. All I know for sure is that things are the way they are and my constantly rebuking reality will not ammend a darn thing. No point in asking God's purpose in this either. It just gives me another excuse to make myself crazy wondering with what-if's, and would'v, could'v, should'v's.
So, I'm back to square 1, again! Just contine to be Jenjen, superstepmom and love my kids despite our familial circumstances.
A few weeks ago, M patted his dog on the head and said, "Pretty great dog!" Then he patted me on the hand and said, "Pretty awesome stepmom." That made all the grief, struggle and sacrifice worth it. That one second, briefly stated comment is not one I will soon forget.