Life’s Not Fair

Growing up I never thought I’d be a stepmom. I had this vision of what my life and marriage would be like. I thought I’d get married to someone as innocent and as lacking in worldly knowledge as myself. We’d have a couple gorgeous kids. He’d work and I’d stay home until they were in school and then I’d work part time, but still devote most of my life to my kids. We’d go to church every week. I’d make dinner every night, unless it was a special occasion when we’d go out to dinner. We would end our nights, hands held in prayer, and go to sleep at the same time. 

Slowly this vision dissolved into real-life and became something I didn’t even want. I didn’t want to sit at home talking baby all day. I didn’t want to spend every night cooking. Sleeping at the same time wasn’t feasible with a husband who worked until 10pm when I had to get up at 5am.

I didn’t expect to date a man 9 years older than me and I definitely didn’t expect to fall head over heels for a child that didn’t come from my own body. I’ve loved children before. I babysat and I have nieces and nephews that I took care of and loved, but nothing prepared me for this. Nothing prepared me for the brown-eyed, gentle-hearted, sensitive, sweet girl who would get jealous when her daddy and I would hug. 

I didn’t expect to fall in love with him. I definitely didn’t expect to become a second mom to his daughter. Now here we are almost 9 years later and I would be devastated if I lost either one of them. They are my absolute world. They are what I love most about my life. 

It’s not easy though. Being second mom is hard. I can never (and should never) live up to Mom. Mom is the hero in the story no matter what and I’m just a corny sidekick who is along for the ride. I pour my love into this little girl who will never see me with the shiny eyes she sees Mom through.

I should be OK with this because, after all, I wouldn’t want my daughter to love any other woman more than she loves me. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. Knowing this doesn’t soften the blow of not getting a (step)mother’s day card even after spending hours upon hours planning and decorating for an elaborate birthday party. It doesn’t help the ache of missing her when I see her for less than 8 hours in a two week period. It doesn’t make anything easier. 

I want to be a good stepmom. I sometimes even think I am one. But I also know I’ve been given something most stepparents aren’t given – a good stepchild. You hear horror stories about not getting along and about the kids being brats, but that’s not my life. My stepdaughter is anything BUT a brat. She is funny, sensitive, sassy, creative, competitive, and has a golden heart. It’s easier to be a good stepparent when you have a great stepchild. So why is it so hard? 

Maybe it has to do with always being second best. Maybe it has to do with seeing your husband struggle to see his daughter more often and not being given the chance. Maybe it has to do with the injustice and the lying and manipulation and conniving. Maybe it has to do with seeing him hurt. Maybe it has to do with not being given a chance.

My dad always taught me that “life’s not fair, get on the bus.” I guess he was right.


From Here to There

I’m laying awake. My eyes are heavy and my body is so, so tired. I’m yawning every 5 minutes. But here I lay, awake. I’m not sure why I don’t just go to sleep. Why didn’t I turn the show off earlier? Why do I keep playing games? Just close my eyes and go to sleep. It sounds so easy. It sounds like a really good idea. But it’s so much harder than when you are just in the next room.

It’s harder because I know you won’t be there when I wake up. It’s harder because I know if I have a bad dream you won’t be next to me to comfort me. It’s harder because the house is so much quieter without your conversation. It’s harder because your eyes aren’t here to light up the room.

I miss the sound of your voice. I miss the feel of your skin. I miss the touch of your lips. I miss the brush of your fingers against mine. I miss the random pokes while watching a show. I miss the sound of your laugh and the look you get right before you tell me how beautiful I am. I even miss the weird way you lick my shoulder sometimes… You weirdo!

Going to sleep is great, maybe I’ll see you in my dreams. But waking up is hard. I want to sleep the next two days away. I want to sleep straight through until I can see you standing in front of me. I can’t wait to wrap my arms around you and feel your strong arms engulf me. I love the way it feels to be in your arms. I love listening to your heartbeat and the rush of air filling your lungs. Waking up will be the hardest part of my day.

I need to go to sleep. It’s much too late already. I am three hours late and it’s only getting later. I miss you my bittersweet love. I miss you so acutely that my breath catches in my throat. I miss you so much I ache. My chest is tight, my stomach churns.

Your family needs you now and I’m glad you are with them. I just miss you.

So if ever doubt were to creep up. If ever you were to fear my leaving, pull up this letter and know. Know that I would be a fool to leave something that is woven into my core. I would be insane to willingly go to sleep knowing you will never again be by my side when I wake.

How could I leave what I cherish most in the world? How could I leave the one person I tell all my secrets to? How could I destroy the relationship that keeps me sane when my world is insane? How could I leave the man who puts forth effort to bring me back when my anxiety tries to take me to dark places?

You are the single most important thing in my world and without you in it, I have no world to truly live in. So here I lay, daydreaming about you and making myself miss you all the more. You really have my whole heart and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to make you happy. Here I am, sending this there. I love you. Good night.

A Beauty of a Mess

I walk into the bedroom. My hair hangs loose and messy around my shoulders. I clumsily push it up into a messy ponytail. Not one of those “messy” ponytails girls wear in public because they think it’s cute, but a legitimate messy ponytail. My eyes are pink and tired. I don’t wear makeup every day. Hell, I barely wear it once a month.

My torn tank top, that I refuse to throw away because it’s still comfortable, lays haphazardly on my body. My underwear has a small hole starting by the waist band, but again, I’m slow to buy new clothes. Below my underwear, my pink thighs jiggle a little as I walk toward the bed. My random bruises showing dark purple to a light yellow against the pink of my calves. I never know where they come from, I just seem to hit them off everything. One of them is a permanent spot on my shin from an accident long ago.

My nail polish is chipped and the acrylic is growing out. I’ll need to go get them done soon. My pink feet are rough from years of not getting pedicures and not doing my own. Calluses still left over from years of playing barefoot when I was young (and older, though much rarer now).

I yawn a loud, grumbling yawn and stretch, my plump stomach showing as my tank top rides up. The last five inches of my long, ugly, twelve-inch surgery scar shows as well. In my eyes, I’m the picture of imperfection. From my unshaven legs to the glasses perched on my nose.

I don’t feel pretty, I don’t look pretty. I’m just unwinding and getting ready for bed. There are no special tricks to this story. I really just don’t look cute.

And there he is, sitting on the edge of the bed watching me. We’ve been talking about the sinus infection I’ve had for the last week. About how gross my nose feels and how stuffed up I’ve been. And yes, Aunt Flo’s visit as well. No sexy pillow talk here. Just brutal truths about everyday life.

He is looking at me with those eyes. Those eyes are what made me really fall for him. He holds the truth of all in those eyes. He’s looking at me with that look. The one I can never quite understand. The one that makes me feel a little uneasy because I feel it’s underserved.

Then the words are falling out of his mouth, almost as a sigh. “You are so perfect.” I almost expected it. The way he was looking at me. He grabs my hips and pulls my body against him, his head falling softly against my chest.

“I’m not going anywhere. Do you understand that?” His question is muffled against my shirt. I don’t answer so he looks up and the truth is in his eyes. I nod my head slightly and he kisses me.


I posted this and the one before (A Mess of a Beauty) to express how lucky I am to have the husband I have. It really doesn’t matter if I am looking like crap or have spent an entire day trying to make myself look presentable, he always has the same reaction. It’s genuine. When I look into his eyes, I can see that he means every word. I am amazingly blessed to have him in my life.

A Mess of A Beauty

I’ve spent all day getting ready. My brows are plucked, my legs are shaved. Other parts of my body are shaved. My makeup was applied with slow precision. The fake eye lashes aren’t sitting quite right, but I think they look pretty good for a first time application.

The contrast of my red lipstick with my pale skin is just right. The brown of my eyeshadow brings out the blue in my eyes. That combined with longer, darker lashes make them pop just a bit more. I even brushed my brows to make them lay evenly.

I let my hair set in hot curlers for over an hour to make sure the curls hold. So far my attempts at using the rollers have not been very unsuccessful, but today, they’ve turned out exactly how I wanted them to turn out. I pin the sides back in a 40’s look and can’t believe it actually went right.

My hair is almost back to my natural shade of red and I love it. I’ve tried a few different colors over the last couple years and, it may sound vain, but I do love my color the best. It’s been the one feature throughout my life I’ve liked (even when I’ve hated everything else about my body).

I slip into my little black dress. The fabric is smooth to the touch and feels good on my skin. It falls just at the knee and hugs the curves of my body without revealing the rolls I know are under there. My husband has chosen well.

My cascading earrings and matching necklace twinkle when the light touches them. I slide my wedding ring into place and sit on the edge of the bed, ready for my shoes. They are white and jeweled with rectangles and are more like strappy boots than regular heels. I zip up the backs of them and walk into the living room.

His eyes widened, lighting up when he sees me. A small smile turns the corners of his mouth up. “Wow!” He says simply, still staring. Then he walks toward me. Putting his hands on my hips, he pulls me against him and kisses me gently. “You are so perfect.” He says in almost a whisper. 

He leans in to kiss me more intrnsely. I know tonight my carefully styled hair will be tossled and my smooth dress will lay precariously on the edge of the bed.