It was literally the most still day back in October 2010 when I got the call that would change my life forever.
I was working at a hospital, living my life so free. I could do what I wanted when I wanted when one day my phone rang. On the other end was my stepson’s mother. I’ll refer to her as Liz. She was moving and my stepson, Jason, wanted to come and try living with his dad and me for a few months.
It never once crossed my mind to ever say NO.
Our house would soon be filled with tiny 8 year old feet! I called his dad and told him what was going on and made arrangements for my stepson to move down here. I knew my husband had a son, and they came as a package deal. It wasn’t only my husband, it was my husband and Jason.
On a Friday, my husband went and grabbed Jason from Liz, about an hour or so away from our home here in the Coastal Bend. Things were about to change from the moment Jason walked into the door. There was one night I can remember so clearly, it will always be burned into my brain.
It was a Sunday night, the night before we were going to enroll Jason in his new school. We put him to bed and told him good night. A few minutes later, I saw the light turn on in his room. I walked over to make sure everything was ok. I saw this boy crying.
“Jason, what’s wrong?” I asked. At that moment he didn’t really like me, so he didn’t open up. He hardly even knew me. So I ran to our room, grabbed his dad, and said, “honey, something is wrong with Jason.’’
My husband got up and talked to him. I shut the door to give him his privacy with his dad. From what I could hear through the door, Jason was upset because he missed his mom. I would never blame him for missing his mom. That’s his mom! The next night, my husband had to go to work for an over night trip, it was just going to be Jason and me…. I was so scared.
I was scared I wasn’t going to be what he needed.
As soon as I grabbed Jason from school, we went out for ice cream. We sat down I said, I know you miss your mommy. I will never ever try to replace your mommy. You can call her whenever you feel like calling her. We can video chat with her whenever you want. He said, “thank you, Monica.” And from that moment on, I could see him at ease.
I can’t imagine how hard it was for Liz to let her firstborn come stay with us. She is a strong person and deserves so much more credit than I can give her.
The bond Liz and I share is a bond that no parent/step parent shares. Our son not only has one mom. He has two.
Fast forward to February 2017. Our son was riding an ATV with a friend. Something happened and he had an accident. We rushed him to the hospital, got him all cleaned up and taken care of, and we were referred to a specialist. Two days passed and his wound was only getting worse. I decided to take him to Driscoll Children’s Hospital to get him looked at. His would was so infected they decided to keep him overnight. He was going to go into surgery the next day.
I got on the phone as soon as I could to call Liz and let her know what was going on. She never batted an eye and in town in record time. From that moment she arrived at the hospital, I could see Jason at ease. I knew he needed me to be there, but I also knew he needed his mommy to be there as well.
From the moment Jason got out of the hospital, Liz and I were by his side. We tended to what he needed, took him to doctors’ appointments together, and worked on our relationship. She has never once told me I was stepping on her toes. She respects the decisions I make for Jason, and I respect hers.
Our son is lucky enough to have two moms who would take a bullet in the heart for him, two moms who would have much rather taken his place.
Co-parenting is one of the main struggles ex’s have, and the only person it hurts when parents don’t get along is the child. So from the moment little Jason walked into my life, I knew the person I had to be.
Co-parenting with Liz, its definitely one of the easiest things I’ve ever had to do. This may sound crazy, but she is one of my best friends. She listens to me. I listen to her. We talk about what Jason needs. We talk about what he doesn’t need. All of our children are like siblings. Jason’s brothers love his sister.
So if one day, you find yourself in my situation, keep your child and their heart in mind. You don’t want to see them hurt because you cant get along. It’s not their fault.