Sometimes life is patently unfair...except for when it isn't.
There are many ways in which I think SG got the short end of the stick when he married me. I don't care how bodacious my ta-ta's are, taking on me and my kids and my crazy zoo was an unmitigated act of bravery. Acquiescing to taking on the role of stepfather to my two children was a very deliberate and careful decision on his part, and its one he doesn't take lightly. He loves them, though, and they him. Let's just hope they actually launch someday so we can test out just how great empty nesting is for your love life before we're in our 70's.
Step-parenting for me, on the other hand, has been a cakewalk. Twice.
My ex's son who is now a handsome 21-year old college student became part of my life when he was six. Navigating the waters of stepmotherhood was difficult only because of the tension between my stepson's two parents. But the act of being a stepmom to CJ was always easy, always rewarding. He was a smart, fun-loving kid who has grown up into a smart, fun-loving young man. Even though I'm not married to his dad anymore, he and his mom will always be a part of my life. I don't just consider them to be part of my children's family, I consider them to be part of mine.
I have a difficult time calling myself 'stepmom' to SG's son, though. There's no "mom-ing" involved. He was already an adult when we met, already well into his career with the Navy. The parenting part is already completed for him, I just get to sit back and enjoy him and appreciate that even though they had their own difficulties, both his parents took the job of raising their son quite seriously.
He joined the navy at 17 and has never looked back. He earned his Chief's bars as a submariner in just eight years, then entered an accelerated degree program as part of his officer's track. In May he graduated with a degree in Ag Economics and a couple of weeks ago we got to attend his commissioning as an officer in the United States Navy.
He booked the Pima Air & Space museum for the ceremony, the perfect setting as he has been accepted for flight school and goes to Pensacola in September. We flew down for the ceremony and had an absolutely marvelous time. It was my first opportunity to actually meet him, since we got married so fast no one had time to get here for the wedding.
The ceremony was amazing.
Here he is being sworn in as an officer by his CO:
Here his mom and dad are removing his chief's shoulderboards and giving him his new Ensign's boards:
His grandfather was honored to give him his new service cap:
Receiving his first salute as an officer. Not a dry eye in the house.
My handsome husband and his handsome son:
Afterward we partied with my stepson and family and friends at his house. Uncharacteristically, SG and I stayed up til the wee hours of the morning, swilling gin and smoking cigars. The spectacular hangover I enjoyed the following morning fully underscored for me the fact that I am far too old for such behavior. Even so, it was worth every moment of the blinding headache and the floppy stomach. I am stepmama to an officer. A future naval av-i-a-tor.
Congratulations, Ensign Goulet. Your family couldn't be more proud of you. We love you lots. Love, your stepmama.