Wednesday, September 25, 2013

To The Future Stepmother of My Daughter

I don't know who you are or when you'll come, but I know you're coming. I know that someday I will wake up and be expected to share my beautiful baby girl with another woman. And as much as I hate that, today I signed papers and listened to a judge's decree that has made that path inevitable, and I must face it. I must allow myself to already accept you, so that it's easier when I actually have too.

 I know in my heart that I have so much I want to tell you that I may not get to share with you, and so I'm writing you this letter. I know it seems early, and I'm sure when the time comes we will find our way to communicate, but I wanted to write this letter now while the wound is still fresh. When pain and honesty are the driving force behind my words, and not the jealousy and anger I may succumb to in a moment of weakness. I hope you will hear my words and bury them deep within your heart, because despite what you may think of me, I hope that we can be friends. That we can accept each other enough to do this together, because that is what is best for Emma.

First of all, I want to be honest: I have struggled with the thought of you. I lay in bed at night and wonder where you are and when you're coming. I worry that you will come and fill Randy's heart with terrible thoughts of me, and that because of you, we will somehow lose all the fragile things we have fought so hard to preserve. I hope that I am wrong. I hope and pray that you are someone whom I can allow myself to share my daughter. Because, the truth is, despite everything, my heart will always love Randy. He was my first love-the father of my daughter. We will always share those things and because of that pieces of my heart will always be tied to his. I know that I will probably be jealous of you, and to be honest, no matter who you are, the human in me will probably instantly decide that you are not good enough. But I know, that with time, I will work through those emotions, because that is what I should do for Emma, and I will always put my daughter before anything else. Always.

Randy and I have made our mistakes-terrible, awful mistakes. We have hurt each other and torn one another apart, but through all of this we know that we must remain friends to give Emma the happy childhood she deserves. That little girl has seen too much heartache and fighting. She deserves parents who are still able to give her everything she needs to grow into the young woman we want her to be-despite how broken we are. No, we don't always do the right things. We are not the perfect parents, but we get up everyday and we try. And if we fail, we go to bed, get up the next day, and try again.  Because that's all we can ask of each other, and someday we'll ask it of you. Someday it will be the three of us working at this, and I pray that we can all do it together.

I hope you will help me nurture her strength, her compassion for others, and her love for the Lord. I hope that even though she isn't your daughter by blood, you will never for one second take that task lightly. I hope that even though you may not always agree with me, you will do your best to respect me and the position I hold in my daughter's life. In turn, I promise I will always try to do the same for you. I promise to try my best to be humble enough to never judge you for your past, and to never speak badly of you in your future. I will do my best to share nicely, even though every fiber of my being will be telling me to do exactly the opposite.

Because honestly, the thought of sharing every birthday, every scrape or bruise, every broken heart, every single one of her disappointments, as well as, milestones like her first kiss, her senior prom, her high school graduation, and her wedding day with you scares the crap out of me. She is my daughter. My flesh and blood. All of my hopes and dreams bottled up into one gorgeous, talkative, playful, giggly, independent little package. You will never love her like I love her. I am and will always be her mother. But, you will be her stepmother-the new love of her dad's life-and I will need to find a way to respect you for that.

Unfortunately, Randy and I can't change the things we've done in the past, and we don't get to choose each other's futures. And because of that, I know in my heart that I will have to trust his choice in who the stepmother of our daughter will be. I may not see it right away, but I promise that with time, the Phillips girl in me will subside and logic will take over. I also know that the wounds in my heart won't always run as deep as they do today, and as I heal the knowledge of you-of your impending arrival into our lives-will get easier and easier to accept.

I don't expect us to be the best of friends, but I do expect us to be allies. My little girl is going to be looking to both of us as the women in her life to love her, to guide her, to help her through every lesson this life is going to teach her. Being a woman in this world is not easy, and the responsibilities that come with womanhood should never be faced alone. I hope that we can help her face them together.

I wish you all the best, and you should know that I will be praying for you until you arrive. I will pray that we are able to fulfill all the things we need to through our relationship for Emma, and that I will be ready for our chapter when it's time to be written. May God allow us to be a blessing in one another's lives, and not a curse.

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