I love you most.
My Eldest step-son made the comment last week that with all the time we had missed in raising he and his brother (because they were with their natural Mother), that, that missed time would now be made up by our 18 month old and 6-month old son who we will raise full time.
The comment broke my heart. There has not been a moment that we have been without them when there has not been a hole in my heart, a longing for all of my children, step or natural, to be with me. There has not been a day that has gone by where I have not wondered at how their day was going or prayed for their wellbeing. Time missed, and time taken, cannot – and will never, be replaced.
From the moment I married my husband I loved my step-children like my own, and fought for them at my husband’s side when time called for it, with all that I had; finally there came a time when I realized fighting was not the answer for us. Showing love for them and those raising them was. That has not always been easy, but that has remained our goal that our children might know how loved they are despite all going on around them.
Each of my children possess different qualities and talents that both impress me, or drive me insane; i.e. one is sensitive to doing and knowing what is “right” at all times – and I love him for it, while one may walk to line (not doing anything “bad” per say) to impress friends and drive his sensitive brother crazy. A couple treat me with such tenderness my heart can’t help but melt, no matter what they’ve done, as they curl up around me as the big boys they are needing the attention of a child still. One thrives at singing, one is athletic, another curious and always creating – they are different, but they are mine and my heart swells with love for each of them – their differences making a unique place just for them in my heart. There are moments with the older kids that each that bring profound joy, and great pride as I watch what fine young men and women they are growing into.
And then there are the babies. The purely innocent, curious, perfect babies that can’t help but bring anything but joy. This joy emanates to each individual in the family as they go out of their way to hold them, to make them laugh, to introduce them to friends, to excitedly teach them words, or be the first to dance with them – these moments of joyous interactions could not be one without the other, and my Mama’s heart swells with love for each of them as I watch the interactions. They replace no one. Rather they make our family whole by carrying each of their parents blood and a part of each of their siblings, the complete the circle that is us.
You are irreplaceable son. You have carved a place in my heart just for you, and no matter how much or how little time I hold my now young man, no one can ever take that spot. We had more children to increase the joy you had already brought us, not to replace any we had lost, and in seeking that we have found it tenfold.
I love you most. I love all of my children most.