Today, I must air a frustration. Yesterday I was at the hairdressers with Kelsey, and my haircut was finished much more quickly than hers was, so I was standing and chatting with her and her hairdresser. As we chatted, the subject of how many kids we had came up, and I said I had five kids. Now, people often look at me a little weirdly when I say that, because I am only 27, and I must admit, I look young for my age, so they do not think it's physically possible. So, I explain, after the look, that I have three step kids, and two that I pushed out myself. Then the inevitable question of "well how old are they?" and I tell them...18, 16, 10, 3 and 6 months. Most people make some kind of remark about how at least my step kids are older and I don't actually have to "mother" them, or some such nonsense. Can I just say how much this bothers me? I am completely aware that I did NOT give birth to my stepkids, and that I have missed out on many years of their lives, but let me assure you, that this makes me nothing but sad. However, I am a huge part of their lives now, I spend at least 5 of 7 days every week with them, and I miss them SO much when they are gone. Why do people have to make it sound like I should be relieved that I don't HAVE to be a part of their lives? When they cry, my heart aches with them, when they laugh, so do I. Why do people have to minimize my role in their lives or my relationship with them? I have a close bond with each of them, and I treasure that just as much as I do with the two that grew inside me. Why do people need to distinguish that I have step kids and biological ones? We are one family in this house. Period.
So, the next time someone asks me how many kids I have, I am going to respond the same way I always do, I have five. If they push it, I will borrow a line I recently read and say yes, I have three step kids...but I forget which three.