i think part of makes me want to talk about mothering and motherhood and being a step-parent is that for me it's so new. three years ago, this was not what i thought i'd be doing. at the most, by now i thought i'd be knocked up or with an infant; not with a 12 year old and a 16 year old. i don't think i was specifically against that, it just wasn't something i thought of as a possibility. i've been doing some parenting now for about two years, and while i understand that being a step-parent is different from being a bio-parent, i find myself at times balking against the distinctions. this week i worked with a tech who i hate, and i remembered why when he kept asking about the kids, and only referred to them as "D's kids." he kept pointing out that we haven't been together that long (personally, i think two years of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week isn't anything to sneeze at), and when i said something about "my" kids, he actually corrected me. which i guess is his right, but honestly? if these aren't my kids, then shit. i've been investing way too much time, energy and love.
what makes all of this extra poignant to me is that my pop didn't get to meet them, or see me parent. they only know him through stories, and while those are pretty good, they aren't as awesome as he was as a grandparent. it's the anniversary of his death today (i always want to call it a "deathiversary" but you know, even i understand that's in poor taste), and while every day without him is hard, today always makes me think of him a bit more. instead of getting all maudlin, i had a drink in his honor (or four), watched a zombie movie with the kids, and made a nice dinner. i think he would have liked my little family, and i think he would approve of me spending time with them and thinking of him today.
and this part is embarrassing, but he showed up in a dream of mine this week where we just hung out and talked. we were in class together, and making fun of the teacher, and just chit chatting about every day stuff. honestly? while i don't believe in an afterlife, those dreams always make me feel great. like maybe he's visiting in his own way, from wherever you go after you become worm food. it might just be my brain's way of dealing with shit, but i don't care. i'm glad to see him.