I wish I could summarize how this happened in some sort of a wit filled, pithy post. It just wasn’t easy. It was work to modify my schedule and really understand how to unconditionally love a child who wasn’t my own. Forget dating, we were in outright parent mode. In the interest of full disclosure, the relationship with his mom wasn’t and still isn’t amicable. I respect her boundaries as a mother, which is why I never even entertained the thought of being called his mom. I would be furious if the tables were reversed and my son was sharing the sacred term with another woman. I also mostly refer to Bink by his nickname on the pages of this blog out of some deference to his mother.
Adjustment number two was to give myself over to the thought that this sweet boy had to be given his space to thrive. As much as I wanted to lead and give him what I thought was best, he was still in a sense grieving the loss of what he knew to be his world. Even though his parents had been separated since he was two, bouncing between their homes (now in different states) was familiar and safe to him. I had to figure out how to respect boundaries while throwing my arms wide open. That meant getting on the floor and asking him how to play with his toys, while still insisting that green things made their way onto his dinner plate.
When he signed up for t-ball, I was overwhelmed to see him come home with a navy blue shirt brandishing the word Yankees on the front. I could give him a little piece of who I was by sharing the same stories I heard from Granddaddy. Bink knows I love the Yankees, and he even mentioned that wearing that uniform gave him a sense that he would be important to me too.
Becoming Bink’s ally was mission critical to creating a foundation for him to build his perceptions of a woman-an adjustment I committed to do with grace and fortitude. Waking in the middle of the night to address his sniffles, and removing his sippy cup so the milk didn’t spill were just the beginning. Two children later,we’re a team of five now. So, I may not be his mom by birth, but Bink will always be my first baby.
Back to Pt 1