I started this post on Mothers' Day. The title was not Happy Mothers' Day, but not because I'm not happy. Life is pretty good. It's just that I wrote it more as an unfinished thought than as an exclamation of certainty. Mothers' Day is far more complex where stepmothers are concerned.
I got my first Mothers' Day gift that week. Last year, the children were not sure if they were supposed to, or not, and that was just fine. I've never had two "mothers" before and as such, I respect that they have an experience of our family that I will never have. That experience is theirs to interpret.
This year, they interpreted that I should certainly receive gifts, and they really worried about getting me the right "thing". For the record, I was not worried about it. They could have given me a dead bug (not out of the realm of possibilities with this crew) and I would have graciously accepted the offering.
The littlest, for whom, I think, it's less odd to have had a new mother-type addition to his family (he was 3 when I met him, after all) brought me a little plant that he grew at school, and a card that he made. He'd apparently gotten distracted while writing his name in it because he forgot the last letter.
The middle told me, in distress, that he could not make me a Mothers' Day present in class because his teacher told him he couldn't make one for me. It was a time issue, they just didn't have time to make two in class. I reassured him, of course, that this was not a problem and I completely understood and was not worried about it. I just wish his teacher had known how much distress this had caused him. It's got to be so hard for kids to get used to a new family and to him, this was clearly a VERY big deal. He would also not have time to make something for me at his mother's house because...that would just be awkward. In the end, he picked me a nice flower in the yard: perfect.
The oldest was also very intense about the gift issue and was worried about what I might want. I told her that whatever she would like to give me would be perfect. She made me a big BIG card that was very pretty and clearly very thoughtfully made.
Best gift: the kids have clearly officially decided that I'm part of the family. Cool.