How a step-mom says “I love you.”

Aiden, Ashley and EthanShe is the most honest person I’ve ever known.  And she honestly didn’t like me for a long time after we met.

Can you blame her?  I’m her step-mom, and as long as I was in her life, that meant her mother and father were probably not getting back together.  We met almost ten years ago.  How can that be?  Ten beautiful, difficult years have flown by.  We’ve cried a million tears in that time, danced around each other, wondered where our lives were going.  We both fell in love with the little boys, my sons Ethan and Aiden, her brothers, and our love for them gave us something powerful in common. And then . . . Ashley taught me to not be afraid of the truth.

I remember sitting in Barnes and Noble talking with her about the most intimate feelings of our hearts.  She didn’t say what she thought I wanted to hear, and that gave me the courage to tell her my truth, as well.  Our truths didn’t match, but our courage did. 

I share my life, my home, my family with Ashley.  I call her Ashey.  I’m not sure when the nickname started, but I like it now.  I hope she does, too.  It means “I love you.” It means no matter what the future holds, I love you.  It means no matter who is cold or false or disinterested in the world, I love you. It means one of the greatest gifts your father has ever given me is the chance to know you.

Happy birthday beautiful Ashey.  I celebrate you this day, and there is so very much to celebrate.

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