‘Til Death Do Us Part
I thought now would be an appropriate time to write about this topic as my eldest son is becoming a little man, or as he so charmingly calls it “a tween.” You remember the incredibly awkward and agonizing years between childhood and adulthood? He just started middle school and is faced daily with the all-encompassing hormones and drama that is adolescence. My heart aches as we currently prepare for him to leave us on a three week long trip to Switzerland, with his mother for the Christmas holidays.
You probably had to reread that last sentence a few times, or maybe you think a poor writer of me, but no, you read correctly. My son is going on a trip with his mother. Before you get your panties in a bunch about semantics, let me explain. I am a mom to three beautiful, healthy, amazing boys of whom I love equally. However, I only gave birth to two of them.
It’s not my place to tell his mother’s version of the story, not the happy or the sad, nor is it my place to share the details of their divorce and custody arrangements. This post is about love and acceptance and is meant to reveal that blood is redundant when speaking about love. I watched a video the other day that brought me to my knees, it was on CNN and a woman reads vows at her wedding to her four-year-old stepson to be, the woman says “I may not have given you the gift of life, but life has surely given me the gift of you.” This is how I feel every day, overjoyed with this “gift.”
“I may not have given you the gift of life, but life has surely given me the gift of you.”
This wonderful boy came into my life a bright-eyed, smart, sweet little six-year-old and that is when my journey into motherhood began just five short years ago. When I met my hubby, the love of my life, my soulmate if you will, he came to me at what could have seemed like the worst possible time to the average onlooker. My friends and well-meaning loved ones felt so inclined to point out the abundance of red flags, insisting I was perhaps “blinded by love.” Sure he was damaged, slightly bruised, a tad worse for wear. He had a broken heart, torn trust muscles and a growth in the form of a six-year-old human. He had what others call “massive baggage” but none of this mattered to me.
You see I had a choice. As parents we do not always get a choice, we receive the package the stork delivers. As a step-parent, however, we get to choose love as we would with a pet or a partner. When I met my duo, I already had a ton of experience with children ranging from teaching English abroad, teaching locally, helping with foster kids and achieving a degree in Child Development and Psychology. So when people asked me how I felt about the fact that my new man had a ready-made child, my answer was always one of excitement.
I am far too often asked inappropriate and prying questions like “isn’t it weird raising a child that isn’t ‘YOURS?’”. Well, nosy, the answer is “NO” because he is as much ‘MINE’ as a human being can be. I do not look at him as “someone else’s child” he is my son, nothing more, nothing less. He is the brother to my other two sons, the grandson to my parents, the nephew of my brothers and sister and our baby / not-so-baby-anymore boy.
Yes, he happens to have the genetics of another woman and be so blessed to have another mother, but we do a great job of spreading the love around. His Mamai, the woman who housed him in her womb for nine months, lives in Brazil. He also has another father (her partner) and two older sisters, more grandparents and aunts and uncles than one can count and more stamps in his passport than most adults. What child wouldn’t be lucky to have so many people that love and adore them?
So why is it so confusing to people? Why is “blood” so bloody important (pardon the cheesy pun) to so many? If I was gifted a genie and only allowed three wishes the first would be that my boys have hearts that are big enough to love all. My second wish would be they learn to love and be loved without judgment, and lastly, I would wish they always stand up for each other, have each other’s backs and realize they will be brothers regardless of the liquid in their veins. To my eldest son I vow always to love you unconditionally, I vow to protect you, to be the best version of myself to set an example and to be the best mom I know how to be, until death do us part.
Sabrina Greer is a best-selling coauthor on the popular Dear Women Guidebook series, mommy-blogger, connector of inspiring souls, and outnumbered mama to three amazing boys. Her studies in developmental psychology and education have served her well in motherhood, her career, and life. Sabrina has become a pro at embracing the chaos and strives to live out her days coaching others to do the same. She is passionate about empowering young girls, women, and fellow mamas through her writing, volunteer work, and philanthropic endeavors while educating young boys (hers especially) to do the same.