Step is stupid.
And I’m not even allowed to say stupid in our house.
Yet it’s true. Stepchild, stepmom, step whatever. I hear that word and I get flashes of Cinderella and the 27 remake movies where the horrible stepmom (usually ugly to boot) is a cruel task master who robs her stepdaughter of love by forcing her to work tirelessly during the big ball/prom/dance/sports gig – depending, of course, on which remake you watch.
Red-headed stepchild – another phrase of endearment from the culture. I looked it up just now. Definition: a person who is neglected, unwanted or mistreated.
Three of my children are stepchildren. I am their stepmom. And they are anything but neglected, unwanted or mistreated (most days).
I’m crazy about them.
In this series of blogs, I’ve been writing about my kids. They are some of the main characters in this big, beautiful story I get to live. I’ve written about Wilna, Lovence and Samantha. Today I get to write about Cassandra, my blonde-headed stepchild.
Cassandra: her name means “Shining upon man” “Helper of mankind.”
Cassie is fiercely loyal, strong and beautiful. She fights for the people she loves and will sweep in to save the day with her bright captivating smile. She’s an adventurer, a sports lover and a passionate soul. She came to visit us for almost a full summer last year and then moved to Colorado for a short window a few months later. She helped with the kids during the critical transition time and made a lasting joyful impression on them.
Cassie is now back in Ohio, having being wooed by the boys in her life – her handsome boyfriend, Miles, and her adorable nephew (our grandson), baby Lucca.
How can we compete? We didn’t stand a chance – even though we look pretty stinkin’ cute in our tank tops and onesies too.
I love Cassandra. She’s a fighter and feels deeply. She hasn’t had it easy, but she hasn’t turned bitter. Divorce is horrific and all our adult kids paid the price.
I hate that.
But it’s part of our story.
One afternoon when Cassie was visiting, we were tossing the football back and forth out front. She threw a perfect spiral and I’m nearly certain I threw one right back. I looked across at this beautiful young woman with the bright smile and love flooded my heart. No, I didn’t carry her in my belly or watch her take her first steps. I didn’t even get to be there for the wild teen years, bad hair days and sports accomplishments – but I delight in who she is today. I feel strong warm motherly affection for her. I ache for the pain she has walked through and long for only good to come. I dream big dreams for her future and believe in her with fierce abandon. My prayers come from a mother’s heart and I wish only the best for her. I miss her when she’s not around. She is family. She is a joy. She is a daughter of my heart.
No step required.
I love you, Cassandra Mae!