What’s love got to do with it?

You have to let people love the people you love.

It was a hot day that first day of school. Of course, we lived in Texas so August automatically means hot!

I walked my two kids to school, one on either side of me, one small hand clasped in mine. China was entering the second grade and she was super excited to go back to the library. She loved books like crazy! Austin was over-the-moon excited because finally he would be in the same school as his beloved older sister.

Austin and I walked China to her new class, and then continued to his. The school had a rule that parents weren’t allowed in the class that first week. I’m not sure whether they worried about the kids crying, or the parents. So it was bittersweet to let go of his chubby little hand and watch him run down the hallway.

When your youngest starts school, it really hits you that time goes by quickly and how fast they grow up.

I went to meet a friend and have breakfast at a nearby mexican restaurant. I loved their migas! It was nice catching up and chatting as we drank coffee and ate. But about halfway through, I was paged. (This was before cell phones were everywhere. With a pager, anyone wanting to contact you would call your pager number and put in their phone number. All you saw was the number of the person who wanted to contact you.) I made my way to a phone booth and called the number.

“Hello?” said my kids’ stepmother.

“Angie, what’s up?”
“Drema, don’t worry, it’s okay.”

When someone tells you not to worry, what do you do? YOU WORRY.

“Austin is fine.”

Obviously something was wrong if I was being told Austin was okay.

“He fell off the monkeybars and broke his arm. We’re at the ER.”

I flew out of the restaurant, my stomach clenched like a fist. I knew a broken arm wasn’t serious but I was still scared.

Austin was in deep conversation with a tech when I arrived.

“Mom! Look, I get to choose either this one or this one for my cast,” he said, pointing to the neon green and the hot pink nestled in amongst the boring colors of blue and white. He choose the neon green and we made our way home.

Once there, he succumbed to the excitement of the day and fell asleep.

I left him sleeping and stomped over to the phone. Since Angie’s phone call I had been fuming. Why had the school nurse call her and not me? And that is precisely what I demanded of Mrs. Roberts.

Mrs. Roberts apologised and told me the parents’ names were written alphabetically. So, Angie’s ‘A’ was before my ‘D’. I demanded that be changed and that I be the first call on her list. She quickly agreed, probably eager to get off the phone with this angry momma-bear.

Later as I listened to Austin share his ‘adventure’ with China, I heard him say, “Angie was so nice to me!”

Hearing those words, I felt punched in the stomach. I had been so selfish, I had only been thinking about my reactions. I’d been furious with the nurse but it was my fear that prompted the reaction. I realised I was responding to a deep fear about being replaced by their stepmother.

And that’s when I realized, you have to let other people love the people you love.

I wanted the best for my kids. And, while I had not chosen this person to be their step-mom, she was in their lives. And she was kind. I resolved then and there to make sure I helped them have as good a relationship with her as they could.

You have to let other people love the people you love.

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