Rationally, I know that I fill the role of a mother figure every day. I wake up my stepson for school, I make him his breakfast, I chastise him for lying and I try to help him grow up to be a good, honest person. We’re so close that people assume he’s my "real" son pretty often. We even kind of look alike, which is just strange. I always show up for school functions and I take him to the doctor. I do many things an ordinary mother would do. Except that I’m not an ordinary mother.
I am determined never to let him see the doubts I have about my place in his life or his place in mine. He doesn’t need to be saddled with that. I try to give him the full benefit of all the parenting skills I have in my arsenal, and I hope they are doing him some good. I want him to see that I do think of him as my son, in one form or another.
I often wonder how he will see me when he grows up. I wonder if he will think of me as the cause of the breakup of his childhood home; if he will connect me with that. I also wonder if he will see me as a positive female role model: someone independent, intelligent and strong. Will he see my relationship with him as something that he values?
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For now, I take my Mother’s Day gifts with a smile, a hug and a thank you. I do appreciate them, even if I am never really sure if I’ve earned them.