I've spent a couple of posts doting on my new baby, and since it was my first time giving birth, it makes it appear as if I'm a new mother. I'm not. I entered motherhood the moment I married my husband.
Some would argue that being a step mother is not real motherhood, but I disagree. It's true that it is different. You don't go through the pain of labor, you don't experience that magic moment where you see you baby for the first time, and you don't fall instantly in love. There isn't a bond formed based on the child's complete dependence on you as caregiver. No, you are a tentative acquaintance at first. And you're certainly not the only woman in that child's life!
I worked hard to earn the trust of my stepson. He was four years old when I married his dad, and over the following 7 weeks I probably spent more time with him than my new husband. It was awkward at first, and felt strange to suddenly have a kid tagging along with me everywhere I went.
I never tried to be his Mom. I knew that role was already filled. But over time, we have developed our own relationship.
I will never forget the first time he told me, "I love you." I wasn't expecting it, which made it all the more special. It was one of the last days of the first summer we spent together. The week before, he'd been playing around, and said, "Raise your hand if you love my daddy!" He raised his hand, but wasn't expecting me to, and he expressed his surprise. I explained to him that I do love his daddy, very much, and that love is not limited just to parents and children. We were riding in the car together, just running an errand, when out of the blue, he said, "I love you, Kamille." The only way I could possibly reply was "I love you too." It was the truth.
When he's not with us the house feels empty, even though it is, in fact, very full of love. My husband and my baby fill it up. But there's still a missing piece: my first son.