It's such a strange thing to be a step parent, you really can't imagine all the intricacies unless you've been there. Having been a parent before marrying my husband you'd think that I wouldn't have too hard of a time adjusting...wrong :). There really is something to be said about the natural order of things and what I mean by that is you grow with your kids...if you are a mom of a 3 year old you don't really know what to do with a 10 year old! When we married, my oldest was 8, his oldest living with us was 12. Now that we've been together for awhile and I'm settling into the teen years, I'm far more prepared to battle with all that comes from older kids.
My husband has an older son who's come to visit many times and came to live with us last year. When he moved in he was 18 and a senior in High School. He completed his senior year, graduated, turned 19, got a job, got a car...and just moved out! Talk about weird. It was awesome to have him here, we all love him so much but also weird to have an "adult" in the house. He just moved out about a week ago and that was even weirder! As a mother of kids ranging from 2 to 16, it's strange to have that feeling that it's getting close to the time for one to leave the nest. It's not a natural feeling as a mom to feel like a child should be out on their own and yet that feeling does eventually come.
It happened quickly, in about 3 hours to be more specific! He came home, said he needed to talk and told us he'd been offered a job back in California starting the next day so he was going to pack. We weren't completely unprepared for this news, but still shell shocked at the timing. I told him he had to wait to say goodbye to his siblings who were all still in school and for me to get to the store to at least get him a road trip snacky care package together! It's probably for the best it happened so quickly, like a band aide, I didn't have too much time to tear up! We love and miss him and hope he's doing well in that big scary world!
We joke about the time when all our kids have moved out and we can have time to ourselves, but the reality is we will miss them all dearly. I look at my baby girl, listen to her sweet little voice, the sound of her feet running around the house, the sweet way she grabs my face to give me kisses, how she will take my arm and put it around her if she wants to snuggle and I try to memorize every moment! Life is busy with so many (now 5) kids at home, especially having them all in different schools but I try to live in the moment with them. I try not too be too busy to listen to their stories about the drama at school, listen to their oh so not funny jokes :), and always grab them for a hug before they run back out the door. I know that all too soon our home will be quiet. Enjoy every moment with your kids, let them go when it's time but until that time comes make some memories!