I thought an Honest to Blog about my past few months as a step-mom would be the perfect thing to publish today. This is a post I've been working on/intending on writing for a few weeks, but Mother's Day seems as good as any ol' day, yeah?
These past 10 weeks or so have been so new, so different. I'm still in that early stage of haze and fog where I can't make out what's real and what's just make believe. Does that even make sense? There are still days where none of it feels real at all. I don't really feel like we have a full time toddler that we feed, bathe, take care of, entertain, etc. I mean, clearly we do, but I think it's what it feels like after you graduate. Something that has become so natural and routine for you is over. I guess this is kind of like the opposite in terms of that, but at the same time we can't just come and go as we please like we used to. We can't pack up and head off on a week long roadtrip or go to a show on a whim. But the crazy thing is that I don't really miss that too terribly much. At least not enough to negate having Toby here. It's been the most eye opening experience, I'll tell you that.
Seeing how much he's changed and progressed in these past 2 months is astonishing. He knows his shapes and colors, and his vocabulary has tripled. He's such a happy kid. He says "Yes ma'am" and "Yes sir", "Please" and "thank you", and even "You're welcome". One day he went to get something for Mike and after he handed it over Mike didn't say anything. Toby just stood there for a minute and said "You're welcome." Mike still didn't say anything so Toby looked at him and said "Say Thank you, daddy". He's such a riot.
I can't even tell how how incredible it is to see him with Pip and Georiga, and even Enid. He has taken to our animals like nobody's business. These (reposted) Instagrams just tell you all about it. He's really really hooked on Pip though. They are like the very best friends. I had a Bichon when I was Toby's age (up until I was 16) who was my absolute best friend in the world, so knowing Toby has that just makes my heart sing. (Seriously, I'm tearing up just writing this. Ahh, I'm such a goob).
I also won't pretend these past few months have been easy. On Mike, Toby or myself. There have been some days where a grey cloud lingers above, for whatever reason. Usually just because one of us is having an all around bad day, but there have been tantrums in the store, screaming fits, and ensuing embarrassment. There have been judgmental looks, catty remarks, and ignorance abound. Luckily those experiences are few and far between, but they have still taught us a whole lot about this parenting thing. Most of all there have been so many supportive people, parents and otherwise, who have lent a helping hand, a tidbit of advice or experience, etc. Even if Toby acts out in a minor way, there will be someone who chimes in "Oh don't worry, I have 2 of my own, I understand." Ah, "I understand." You have no idea how calming those words have been these past weeks. Or maybe you do because you're a parent, too, or just because you get it. There is so much ridiculous competition and cattiness that it's so pleasing to find someone who doesn't want to judge you or kick you when you're down. We're far from perfect, and we're learning as we go along, but it's been one heck of a ride.
One thing that has really bothered me though, is certain people on the internet's ability to say the rudest things about an innocent child. Whether we're talking about Toby or not, kids do not belong in snark. They just don't. I had a string of seemingly "anonymous" comments about Toby on my Tumblr last week (and prior) and it just blew my mind. Save that ugly talk for someone your own size. Talk all kinds of smack about me if you wish, I put myself out there. But Toby is just growing up, being a kid, doing little boy stuff. I won't get into that too much because it's silly to even entertain. There are just some truly awful people out there
I mentioned earlier that it's insane to see how much he's grown and evolved since being here. We don't know what his day to day life was like prior to coming to live with us, and honestly, that's probably for the best. I can't even begin to touch on how much it means to us to be able to give him a stable and loving environment to grow and develop in. Mike and I regularly talk about what kind of person we suspect Toby will grow up to be. Will he be into sports? Music? The outdoors? Reading? Knowing that there is (hopefully) at least 14.5 more years of watching him grow is such a cool feeling. We know he'll be the very best big brother whenever we decide to expand our family. He's such a Mini-Mike it's ridiculous. Anything dad does, he wants to do. He also loves helping in any and every way possible. He loves to help build things (and has been quite the little Bob the Builder on Pawpaw's deck the past 2 weekends!) and he loves to play pretend.
I know this is just an insanely long post gushing about Toby and how much we love him, but it's so so true. Our entire life now revolves around him. Errands need to be run around his nap time, every morning we're woken to the sound of scuffling feet by our bed, and he's learning how to earn money for his piggy bank. It's such a rewarding experience. And maybe I'm tooting my own here here, but even without the 9 months of preparation, I'm finding it to be an easy role to fall into (with the help of so many, including my mom and Mike's stepmom!) I totally understand why some women live to do this. He's a little person! Sometimes that's the hardest thing to wrap my head around. Anyway, thanks for reading along, if you made it this far. I'm really grateful for that little dude.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there! Whether you're a step mom, biological, a grandma, someone like me who may not "legally" have a title, or even just an older sibling who has had to step in to play the part... you are a priceless, invaluable person in the lives of SO many.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Honest To Blog is a
weekly free-writing feature where I share whatever is on my mind. No edits, no filters. Just unapologetic, sometimes offensive, always truthful thought. Click HERE to read all of the past posts in this feature.