“But wouldn’t it have better if they hadn’t been there at all?” she asked and gave me a knowing look, gave me that little insincere wink of hers along with her icy smile, the one that never reaches her eyes.
She = my stepmother. They = my stepsons.
At first I didn’t quite get what she said, I first heard ‘they’ as ‘it’ and assumed she meant B’s divorce. Sure, wouldn’t it have been great if all that had been behind us like my divorce was – absolutely. When I clocked on and realised she was referring to B’s sons my stomach turned. What. The. Fuck.
But I know now what her perspective and view point is – she always detested how Dad came along with my brother and I as his baggage. If I could have a penny for every time I heard her yell at Dad “I MARRIED YOU, NOT YOUR DAMN KIDS” I wouldn’t be rich, but I’d certainly have enough for a Birkin handbag and probably skip the six-year waiting list too. Perhaps it’s because I know how it feels to be an unwanted stepkid this offends me as much as it does, but when I think about it further I don’t think that’s it.
Yes, B’s divorce was a m*therf*cker to get through – for him more than me of course, but it was hard to watch from the sidelines too. But I wouldn’t wish his ex away as much as her actions have at times bewildered me. She was part of his life for a long time (20+ years!) and she is, as much as I hate to admit it, a reason or at least part of the reason he is who he is today. Wishing these two boys away that the two of them had together and who are now an invaluable part of my life? You’ve got to be kidding me!
If I could wave a magic wand I’d probably just make it so that all three boys – B’s two and my one – were all ours. But even so, my ex is part of my life and B’s ex is part of his. Just like I am who I am today because of Monkey, and how he is my reason for even being, so are B’s boys part of B and who he is.
I can’t see the downside here. And I don’t think it’s just that B’s two boys happen to be awesome. I just know that I would have loved and treasured them even if they’d been intolerable shits. They’re not – they’re two young men I absolutely worship and I just love hanging out with them. How could I ever see them as anything other than an amazing bonus, cherry on top, incredible add-on to this brilliant soulmate of mine? I get to be with B, and along with that jackpot I also have the fortune of having those two lovely boys in my life. Monkey loves them, looks up to them, tries to impress them to the point where he gets obnoxious but ultimately they just add so much to an already fantastic situation. So when my stepmother insinuated that life would be easier or better without “baggage” on B’s part, all I could do was stare at her in incomprehension, my chin somewhere near the floor.
This weekend sums it up. They were both over and I so love having them here, love being around them and enjoying the lovely chemistry those two brothers have, and when Monkey’s here there’s this wonderful joshing going on between the three of them. I think I bonded more with B’s oldest first, but these days I feel I have a great relationship with both, it’s all so relaxed and easy, and I’d do anything for either of them. I love them like my own. OK, I’ll never love anyone or anything as much as I love my own son, but I swear they are both as important to me as Monkey and B are. Should I win the lottery or have my ship come in in other ways, my will would be divided between my son and B’s sons equally.
So I don’t get my stepmum. I can’t see it. Why in God’s name would I want undone something that is part of my partner’s very being? Nonsense. Utter bollocks.