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Continued on…

Ok, so that night, I convinced a friend from work to go with me.  A big group date…innocent enough!  I didn’t know until years later that between work and going out that night, Richard had called his youngest brother who graduated with me.  He wanted to check out if I was sane I think…luckily his brother told him that I was “normal”!  Whew!  That night we just ended up talking the night away…about my schooling, his job and family, but mostly about the girls and how he felt guilt over what was going on in their lives.  Richard is a die hard romantic…he only ever wanted to get married once, he wanted his two kids and to live happily ever after.  I love that about him. 

We decided that there was a definite connection but we were both nervous.  He was in the middle of a divorce and the father of two kids, I was 19 and still in college…it seemed impossible that our two very different lives could be meshed into one.  We decided to wait for me to meet the girls, the last thing they needed was someone else to come into and then leave their lives.  At the time I met Richard, the girls were with Richard every weekend from Friday to Monday and during the week they were with their grandparents just over an hour away.  They were amazing Grandparents and Richard always knew that they were loved and happy while they were there.  Richard also went there every Wednesday night after work to bath the girls, read them a story and tuck them into bed.  I doubt very much that the girls remember the all the hours he drove to be with them as much as he could. 

And while he dealt with the divorce and work and squeezing in as many hours with the girls that he could, I went back to school.  The only thing I dealt with was friends asking “are you crazy?”, and “you’re joking right?”.  It was hard to explain to people.  We were only weeks into a relationship and I already knew.  People may say it’s corny, but I already knew that I would marry him…that I was meant to marry him. 

About a month or so into our relationship, I got to meet the girls.  Ahhh they were so adorable!  Taylor was 2.5 and Daniele had just turned 1.  There isn’t one person who could have met them and not fallen in love with them.  Daniele and I instantly bonded, she was still a baby and didn’t really even remember much of her birth mother.  Taylor was 2.5….she remembered and she wasn’t always easy.  I would be lying if I told you that joining into a ready made family was always easy.  Any step-parents out there know exactly what I am talking about.  The great thing I had was that the girls were still very young and much easier to bond with then teenagers!  Taylor didn’t like to share her “daddy”, she was so used to having him all to herself.  Completely understandable and that was never hard for me…we always agreed that the girls would always come first.  I may not have been a parent yet, but I knew how sacred that position was.  And in a divorce situation, I knew that making it easy for the kids was the way to go.

To be continued…again 🙂

Category: Life  Tags: ,  One Comment

“Step”ping into Parenting…

I turned 19 on June 8, 1995.  I had my life set out.  I had finished my first year of college and was headed home to my parent’s house to work for the summer and save up some money.  I took a full time job waitressing in the small hotel that was near our house and planned to work as many hours as possible.  I had zero intention of meeting anyone, I knew I was moving 2 hours away at the end of summer. 

A month into summer holidays, a family friend approached me about taking over her secretarial position for 2 weeks so she could go on vacation.  I jumped at the chance and quickly gave my notice at the hotel.  Answering phones and typing seemed much more pleasant to me than serving breakfast at 6 a.m.  I soon started work at the nearby oil and gas plant doing whatever secretarial stuff she had left for me.  I was the only female in a completely male dominated office.  Luckily it was a small town and I knew most of the guys who worked there.  I remember being excited on my last day there…finally back to school for me.  I had about 4 days and then I was moving to get started back on my college courses. 

And that was the day I met Richard.  He worked as an operator at the plant.  Now if we want to discuss how some things are meant to be….here is one.  Richard had 2 weeks of holidays but because he had used one day earlier, he only had 1 week and 6 days…which ended him right back to work on the last day of my work.  I knew exactly who he was when I saw him…I had gone to school with two of his brothers.  Luckily I knew how to turn on the magic cause by the end of the day, I had a plan for a small group of us to go out that night.   The nice thing for him was that I already knew all about him…news travels fast in small towns!  I was drawn to him instantly and truthfully was not thinking at all into the future.  Can you imagine at 19 thinking about getting together with a 24 year old on his way to divorce with 2 babies at home?  I guess maybe my age was a good thing…I was naive enough not to worry about stepping into the world of parenting.

To Be Continued…..

An A-Ha moment…

I learned something new today…about myself.  I had a brief and memorable A-Ha moment.  I will let you in on it in one moment but let me start at the beginning.

I have two teenage daughters.  Two…at the same time.  They happen to only be 16 months apart.  So it seems that between them and me, there are a lot of hormones and emotions running through this house at all times.  I will openly admit that I play a factor in there as well!  🙂  Anyway, if you have a teenage daughter you will know that many days are filled with laughing and crying.  Days filled with anger and sadness quickly get replaced with joy and elation.  That is just the way it is.  These little girls that we have encouraged and praised for 16 years get into high school and get jolted into a whole new reality.  At home, we still try to do what we have always done, but they are not as receptive anymore.  They are big girls now, they want independence and trust.  They want freedom to carve their own way.  And that is what we want too….right???  I know that deep down that is what every mother wants but I didn’t realize until a few months ago that in order for that to happen…I had to change.  Taylor was 17 and in her own way was trying to break out on her own a bit.  I was fighting her on every turn, trying to keep things the same.  In turn, she was fighting me and our household was upside down. 

It was then that I realized that as she evolved, I was going to have to evolve too.  I was not about to let her take the reins completely, but I had to loosen them enough to let her live and to let her make her own mistakes.  I always felt at her age that my parents were very strict and I always felt like I didn’t make my mistakes until I left home.  Then the problem was that I was making mistakes and had no one to support me and help me when I needed it.  I want my girls to feel like it is ok to make some mistakes and that I will still be here to help them if they need it.  Then maybe when they pack their bags up and head out the door, they will have a better understanding of real life.  I hope.  It was amazing for me to see what happened when I realized this.  I let her take some more control over her own life and things just fell back into place.  If I would have only realized that when the fighting started! 

Now my revelation…I wondered if a greater power was at work for those months of fighting.  Was something trying to prepare me for when she had to move out?  Was I going to be a wreck?  Did her behaviour want me to make her move out and not miss her??  And then I realized…she is moving out…I am going to miss her terribly.  It doesn’t matter how much she fights me or how bad of a day we are having…there are so many good days, it doesn’t matter.  She is my heart. 

This will always be my oldest girl, the one who read at 3.  The girl who wrote her name on the wall when she was 3 and tried to blame her one year old sister.  The one who would sit with me while Daniele napped for 3 hours and color.  The girl who got stuffed animals and named them things like puppy and big monkey.  Who has always loved every animal in her life unconditionally.  Who would give her sister horsey rides even though Daniele was almost always bigger than her.  The girl who loved to do my hair in barrettes and pigtails and now wants to be a hair stylist!  I will miss this girl with all my heart.