Love is a pretty big word and how you use it can be fairly universal. “I love that skirt!” may be something that you toss out to your girlfriend without much regard. Hearing “…I love you.” for the first time as it spills off of the lips of the one that ignites fireworks in your soul is entirely different. For me it happened on our first date… “I think I love you…Not really you….but the idea of you.” Was exactly what Mr. Magoo said one late fall evening.
We met on-line. Chemistry.com to be exact. Emails changed into phone calls and a first date was set, the day after Thanksgiving. I showed up at his front door. “You look better than your pictures” Was the first thing he said before he turned around and walked right back inside closing the door, leaving me in the briskness of Wisconsin’s late fall. Standing on a strangers doorstep I was not sure what I was supposed to do, so I opened the door and walked into my new life without even knowing it. I heard little voices coming from the next room. Upon investigation I caught my first glimpse of my future mini men. “Hi!” they said and before they burst with the giggles and disappeared into the basement with the babysitter.
First Mr. Magoo took me to a local small town bar where a pile of friends were laying in wait. The third inquisition began and Mr. Magoo handed me a cocktail. I must have passed the friend test because the night continued with dinner. We didn’t have reservations so we sipped Cosmo’s and the conversations began to warm my heart. Once seated, reviewing menus he asked me “Would you like to split a salad?” I couldn’t decide if I should be flattered, because my physic looked like I ate a lot of salad, or offended that he was a cheap date. “No…I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl…I’m ordering a burger.” He appreciated a women that knew what she wanted and we both ordered. Dinner stretched late into the evening and we both acknowledged that we felt we found something special. The evening ended with a walk in a park filled with Christmas lights for the most magical kiss of my life.
The love story continued with a second date involving the kids and us going to a Christmas parade. I had my pockets filled with toe warmers and Teddy Grahams and my heart ready and opened for these boys to fall for me like it appeared their Daddy had….but it didn’t happen. They refused the warmers no matter how cold their pencil fingers were and would not eat the Teddy Grahams either. The harder I tried to be everything right in their little worlds, the greater the distance grew between us. I was worried that they may never come around. So instead of trying so hard I took a step backwards and just started being myself. Kids are always suspicious of adults that are not genuine. Not to mention their lives have been riddled with all sorts of sugar coated half truths through a divorce. They are far more likely to attach themselves to someone that is real and honest. As soon as I changed the game plan, they immediately attached themselves to my side and they have never let go.
As a Step Mom our love stories may begin with a man, but in the end it is really about the entire family falling in love. There are so many moving parts to this entire process that it can quickly get complicated and messy. The number one thing I would advise to anyone going through the process of new love beginning to bloom is keep open and honest communication. Hold family meetings, take the serious stuff and sprinkle with silliness, and open your heart to a never ending fairytale.
~ Amy Elizabeth