rolled her eyes and stood back up, swinging her little purse from hand to hand.
“Hey,” she said. “How come there’s no such thing as Parents’ Day?”
skipped a beat. I had a feeling I knew where this was going.
you mean?” I asked her. “There’s Mother’s Day, right? And Father’s Day?”
why don’t they have one that’s for ALL parents? Not just moms and dads?” She
asked me, “How am I supposed to celebrate my stepmama if they don’t have a
My heart burst completely open.
written plenty on being a stepmom, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write
enough to adequately explain what it feels like to be a parent in this sense. It is rewarding, it is a journey and, in
moments like this, it is a part of my life that no one else will ever
understand. Sure, I can tell them how important my stepchildren are to me and I
can tell them how much they love me, but when my stepdaughter comes right out
to ask me why there’s no special day celebrating all of us parents, I don’t know how to explain the love I can feel.
I’m still a mama in her eyes, and she wants a day to celebrate that.
It’s a love
that everyone told me not to expect. All of the “experts” will tell you that
stepfamilies are not “traditional” families. “They will require counseling,” was
one Web site’s encouraging words. I’ve read that it can take a long time for
stepchildren to recognize their stepparents as parents. I was told that
children will favor their mother and father, that their minds may not be able
to wrap around what it means to love a stepparent.
And then I
realized that everyone interprets the word stepparent differently. Most people
focus on the word step instead of the
Chloe is in the minority.
To her? I’m
a second mama. She knows who her mama is and she knows that I am second best,
the next in line when it comes to mama love. But she also knows that her heart
can hold enough love for all four of us parents. She knows that, regardless of
what society may think of me, I’m still her parent. I’m still a mama in her
eyes and she wants a day to celebrate that.
“Well, baby,” I told Chloe after her declaration, “I guess they assume that no one
needs an extra day. I guess they assume that mothers are celebrated on Mother’s
Day and dads are celebrated on Father’s Day. It’s not a big deal, although it
means the world to me that you think it is.”
said Mother’s Day isn’t about me, that I don’t need a holiday to make me feel
secure about my role in these kids’ lives, but the fact that this sweet girl
wants a day to make me a macaroni sculpture without worrying about what others
would think? Hey, Hallmark? I can get behind that. My 7-year-old thinks you
need to get on this, already.