My kid is 12. A preteen. A middle-schooler.
At 12 I was super shy and very reserved and could not care less about boys or anything disgusting associated with those stinky jerks.My kid is none of the above. She's a cheerleader. She is outgoing. She is pretty (but don't tell her that, please; we're hoping to keep it a secret from her until she's 30). She is smart. She is boy crazy. She likes to shop. Well, she likes to spend money in general. She has the desire to be a popular kid, where I wanted nothing to do with people knowing who I was.
And yet, even with all those differences, sometimes I see myself in her. Her taste in music, her taste in food, her taste in clothing. Sometimes I watch her and see little bits of me shine through. And you know something? I honestly never thought that would be the case. We've always had a good relationship but never did I think this kid, who has no pieces of my genetic code, would ever follow in my footsteps, even just a little.
It makes me incredibly happy. I take those moments and keep them tucked in a safe place in my brain so that on the bad days, days when I want to just run away from it all, I can remember why I choose to be her stepmom. I can remember, that even though step-parenting might be the hardest thing I've ever chosen to do, it's still worth it.
I remember being 12. And I remember how not too long after that, I decided that parents were the worst idea anybody ever had. I remember wanting to spend the entirety of my days locked in my room where I wouldn't see or hear them. I remember wishing they wouldn't be so mean or strict or just plain terrible. I remember sometimes thinking that I hated them, even though I really didn't.
All I can do is hope that things are different with her. I wish there was some sort of guidebook for me to create a bond with my kid that can withstand the pressure of her being a teenager. I want her to see me as someone that she can go to and confide in. I want her to never not say goodbye and hug me. I want her to always make me bracelets and be excited to play games with me. I want her to want to spend time with me. I want to always be her Mommy. I am just not sure I know how to make that happen.