excerpt CHAPTER 11 – STEP-PARENTING

…I had met my future stepson not long after I met Cary. As I mentioned earlier, Cary would bring him to the office where we worked. He and his dad chatted occasionally as they worked and played alongside one another in Cary’s work station cubicle, which was near mine. At that time in my life I was rarely around children, being a single working woman with a busy career life, and with hobbies such as golf and tennis which I pursued with my friends off-hours. So, I was intrigued by this child who was a fine example of a smart, creative and well-mannered young man.
This boy was cheerful, fun, and happy. I could tell his dad and he had a great relationship built on communication, trust, and common interests, as well as quality and quantity time together. As Cary and I started spending more time together, I got to know his son, and my love and affection for him quickly developed.
It wasn’t long before Cary’s time with his firstborn son also became our time as a couple and child. Spending most of our weekends at my house, I would quickly get my weekend chores out of the way so dad and son could come over. We played in my large backyard, walked to the nearby park, watched sports on television, played board games and talked. Sometimes they just hung out inside while I cooked.
Eventually, as our relationship became more permanent, Cary gained full-time custody of his son, and the three of us began our life together in the Montclair neighborhood of east Denver. His son became our son, and I became a stepmom. I recall at one point my stepson asked me if I was going to be a wicked stepmother when I married his dad. It occurred to me that this was the image he saw in nearly every movie the mouse corporation put out. I laughed and replied “Absolutely not!” Little did I know that just loving a child didn’t make you a good parent, nor was step-parenting an easy task….

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