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Continued on….again

Now came the hard part.  I had gone back to continue school but it was not where I really wanted to be.  I am sure that my parents were stressed out completely…their 19 year old daughter dating a man with two kids who was not divorced yet.  I sit here now with a daughter turning 18 in a month and wonder how I would feel in one year if she was doing the same thing.  Puts things into perspective a little bit!! 

By April of 96 I was done school and moved in with Richard and the girls.  We were confident in the fact that I wasn’t going anywhere and I had won over all of the affections of the girls.  Life was good.  I could be brutally honest. I could tell you all the times that I felt inferior to his ex-wife…all the times when I wondered why I jumped every time she called.  But the funny thing is that I look back now and realize how easy we had it.  She rarely came around at first which allowed me to bond with the girls and when she did come around it was only for an afternoon.  She never demanded holidays or weekends, I was the one that offered.  She never made me feel unwelcome, she has always known that she was the one that chose to leave.  As I look back, I realise that I feel sorry for her, sorry that she missed so  many wonderful things about the girls growing up.  She missed Daniele learning to talk, Taylor starting preschool.  She missed their first day of Kindergarten when I showed up to get them at the end of the day and they ran to me for a hug.  She missed it all.  Stuff like that, the stuff you can never get back. 

I will still remember the first day that Taylor called me Mom.  Daniele was so much younger and called me mom for a long time before Taylor ever did.  We lived in a very very small town at the time and there was a girl across the street that was Taylor’s age.  They were the best of friends and played almost every day.  Taylor was bugging me to go play one day so I told her that as soon as Daniele went down for her nap, she could go outside.  About two minutes later, her pudgy little cheeks peeked in the door and called me, “Mom, can I please go play with Tamara?”  She said it like she had called me that since birth.  I stopped for a second, registered what I had just heard and called back “Go ahead, stay in the yard please”.  That was it…and she never called me Tanya again.  Back then it seemed like it took forever, but really, we just let them decide when the right time was for them and that is it.  We always said we wouldn’t encourage or discourage it if they ever decided to call me “mom”…we wanted them to feel comfortable with whatever they chose to call me. 

Life was good.  No…life was great!!