My husband's 16-year-old son came to visit us for the first time. Even though I knew of D's existence, I never thought of myself as a stepmom. I wanted my husband to spend more time with his son, and I wanted our daughter to know her brother, but I hadn't factored myself into the equation. Plus, the drama behind it all had gone on for so long that I thought D would be an adult by the time we finally met.
So when the prospect of blending our family became a reality rather than a theory, I was a nervous wreck. "Just be yourself," Hubby said. "It'll be great!"
I tried to share Hubby's optimism, but I couldn't shake the underlying fear that I'd somehow turn out to be the Wicked Stepmother. Could I ask him to do dishes without appearing to be a power-crazed meanie?
Turns out, I needn't have worried. D is a great kid, and he has the same kind and optimistic demeanor as his dad. Plus, his little sister wrapped him around her baby finger. He was playing Barbies and promising to bake cookies within 10 minutes of his arrival. That girl's got skills, I must admit.
After prying my daughter off of D's leg and putting her to bed, I had a chance to talk with him alone. Hubby went to bed early, exhausted from working late hours. D was eating some baked chicken he found in the fridge. (Note: Teenage boys eat A LOT. Plan on doubling your grocery bill.)
"Do you have any rules I should know about?" he asked.
"Don't drink my club soda," I said. "I can't really think of anything else right now."
D nodded, and he then proceeded to tell me how he had been looking forward to this visit.
"It was really bothering me that I have a sister, and I don't know her," he said. "It's been bothering me for a while." He licked his fingers. "This is good chicken, by the way."
"Thanks," I said. "I'm glad you're here. You're welcome anytime."
And that was it. All the nervousness melted away.
A few days later, I gave Hubby a hug as he was watching the kids put together a puzzle.
"You've got two kids," I said. "How does it feel?"
"Feels good," he said. "You know, you've got two kids too."
I nodded. "Yeah, I guess I do."