22 years ago, I became a step-mom to a little girl name Erin. Though this isn't a special happening to most people due to the divorce rate in our country, to me, she was and is very special. As she grew up, it was discovered early on that she has mild learning disabilities that affects her reading, spelling, and mathematics skills. The learning disabilities she had to deal with also meant that other misinformed children in her schools laughed at her and even bullied her.

      As she became a teenager, Erin was raised by an over-protective Mom {her biological mother}, whom did not allow her very many social outlets, for fear of Erin being bullied even more. As her step-mom, me and her father tried very hard to give Erin the social outlets during the weekends and holidays she would come to visit. I would also spend countless hours helping her with homework, baking together, and all the things I did with my own biological children. As she became a young adult, mine & Erin's relationship had become extremely close---close enough that people would believe me to be Erin's "real" Mom.

      After Erin graduated high school, she began and finished a program that helps learning disabled adults become hard-working, self-sufficient, and responsible members of society. I watched her become all that and more through very love-filled, proud eyes---and I cheered her on even at her lowest moments.

      Today, due to our extremely close step-mother/daughter relationship, Erin has blossomed into not only a hard-working, responsible adult---but, a young lady who is very caring, loving, and extremely generous with random acts of kindness with me and her dad.  Just the other day--this past Thursday---she had went out to re-sale shops to shop for things she needed. She called afterwards to let me know that she had some surprises for me and her Dad. When she arrived home, she surprised me with stuffed Peanuts characters {Snoopy, Charlie Brown, etc.} due to my love for the Comic strip. And, just a month before, she had surprised me with a large Snoopy dressed as a farmer!!! She also surprised me by taking me out to dinner and shopping that very same night, and, we wound up getting matching pajamas!!!!

     Although most would want to mistake Erin's surprises as only respect for her parental figures, I believe her actions are much more than this; she is amazingly thoughtful & kind even though she's been bullied and laughed at when she was younger.  Her love and kindness shows she has overcome her past to become a well-rounded, responsible, and an amazingly loving, thoughtful young lady that showers Random Acts of Kindness!

      Should I win a prize, I will be paying it forward, by gifting the prize to my loving, thoughtful, and beyond kind daughter. Yes, I said daughter without the word "step". Erin has always been my daughter...and will always be!

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It is so nice that you have such a long close relationship with your "daughter".  Many families are blended and it was wonderful to read that you have opened your heart to this young woman for so many years.  I work at the local YMCA where they have open door to individuals with learning disabilities, Down Syndrome, and other traits that set them above others.  Yes, I said the work above as I find these people to be more loving and kind than others.  You are blessed to have this woman to share your life.  Give her a hug from this mother, grand-mother, foster mom and nanny.  You see, I love kids too!

 

Colleen

some call me Grandma Cocoa Puffs

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