Expressing love to my stepkids is hard for me. Not because I don’t want to, but quite the opposite. I would love to hug on them, squeeze them, kiss them, tell them how wonderful I think they are…constantly. I have to refrain from overloading them. I do this because they already have a mom, and a dad. They are not 100 percent comfortable with a stepmom. It takes years to adjust, and I have known some adults who are still distant from their stepparents. And if I’m really truthful – they never asked for me, a stepmom, in their life. So I try to be a positive influence in their lives without overstepping my role, playing second fiddle to mom and dad. And yes, I’m jealous when they hug their dad and not me. And yet I understand the complexities they face and the adjustment that slowly moves forward with time. But then….there’s Valentine’s Day. A day when it seems the whole world expresses love to each other. Sweethearts, spouses, grade school children sharing Valentine’s. This is a day when just about everyone is more open about their love for one another. Heck, this is the day that it’s super socially acceptable to express such love! So every year on Valentine’s Day I write a “love letter” to each of my stepkids. I tell each one how special they are to me, what I adore about them, what I admire about them, how lucky I feel to be a part of their lives and what a blessing it is to watch them grow into such lovely young adults. And my little stepmom heart lept with joy last year when one of my stepkids smiled and said “oh yeah, we do this every year don’t we!”. (could we have a blended family ritual forming here folks?)
Today I am thankful for an overly commercialized secular holiday that helps me show my love to my stepkids. I’m thankful for the power of love and for a Savior who showed us the greatest love.
I’m focusing on this verse today: Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.
What are you thankful for today?