I am a terrible stepmonster. We have Frodo and Mini-Me here every Thursday evening, and then every other week they hang around for the weekends. Mini-Me is going through the terrible period that kids go through at age 9, of turning into the demon seed. I have to stop regularly and remind myself that this behaviour comes with being nine years old. I am so ready for 9 to be done. Frodo is 11 now, and is a nice, reasonable person. I know that this too shall pass as he heads toward the hormone dripping teen years - but for now, I'm hanging onto the adorableness of 11 with him and drawing strength from remembering when I was ready for his 9 to be over too.
And then I realize that while Mini-Me has turned into the demon seed, I have turned into my parents. I have long, drawn out discussions with HB where I insist that I never behaved like this at age nine. And I hear my father's voice in my head, reminding me of how he walked barefoot in the snow to school. Uphill. Both ways. Dragging his six siblings behind him in a sled lined with aluminum foil and heated rocks.
It is in the solitude of Sunday, when Frodo and Mini-Me have left the building, that I feel some gratitude for not having children here full time. I know that stepmonstering is a different ballgame because there's all the other stuff that goes along with it. The "you're not my mother" glares. But I'm not convinced that we wouldn't be going through this very same stuff if I was their mother and they were here with us full time.
Which makes me realize that I am indeed too old and cranky to be anyone's mother. I turned 44 two weeks ago.
I have an appointment on Tuesday to discuss tubaligation. I'm seeking some counsel on it from a trusted source before I move to speaking to my doctor about it. It feels like the biggest and most final move I've ever considered making. For me, it's huge.