Life Story Part 5: The Children

It’s ironic to me that for a woman who had her tubes tied so she couldn’t have any more children, I sure do seem to keep inheriting kids. Is that the universe’s idea of a sick joke? To make me a mother to abandoned and motherless children?

My first child and my only biological child is currently seven. I struggle to be what I consider the right kind of mother: loving, kind yet disciplined. I try to be present, to take advantage of teaching moments but still be stern when the situation requires it. I try to guide her in life and to be a role model.

I don’t always succeed but she seems to be growing up okay for the most part. She’s not spoiled, she has her strengths and weaknesses but I’ve done okay with making sure she’s well-mannered, creative, with a mind of her own, but kind to others.

My second child is a stepchild and from my ex-husband’s first marriage. She’s thirteen and I’ve been part of her life since she was nine. When Brian and I separated, he lied to his own daughter, saying I was leaving him for another man, which was completely untrue. I was leaving him because he had turned into an utter dickhead who didn’t care at all about the relationship, being a loving husband to me or a proper father to our two children. She will always have a piece of my heart and while she is not speaking with me, nor does she want anything to do with me thanks to her father’s poor decision to make her choose sides, I love her anyway. I miss her daily and it’s a pain that will never go away. Losing a child that way creates an ache that will never be healed. But I made a promise that I would always be there for her and while I can’t be there in the way I’d like, I’m at least there in spirit.

The next child to come into my life is my eight year old son, who is biologically Jon’s from another marriage. He’s a sweet boy with shockingly bright copper red hair. He also has Aspergers and ADHD. The challenges with him are numerous and getting him to follow the rules has been problematic. Lately it’s been all I could do to make sure he got put on the right meds and is getting extra help in school.

Then there’s my other daughter, who just recently turned eighteen and graduated from high school. She is Jon’s oldest daughter from his first marriage and so much like him that we instantly clicked with each other. She came to visit for a week and we immediately offered for her to move in with us. She’ll be here in about a week and I’m so excited to be able to spend more time with her. Hopefully she’ll start college in the fall or spring.

With the exception of my biological child, all of these children have mothers who neglect and/or verbally abuse them. Every one of them gravitated to me for love and affection, understanding and for lessons in life.

So when I say this is the universe’s idea of a cruel joke, I’m not at all kidding. I didn’t want more children but the universe saw fit to make sure I had more, whether I wanted them or not. And despite the challenges, occasional pain, and frustration, being a mother to all these children has made me a better person and enriched my life in ways I never imagined.

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