I’ve not mentioned them before but I have two step children. I haven’t mentioned them yet because it’s a complicated situation and discussing them is difficult for Helios. I love him too much to cause him any discomfort or pain.
They don’t speak to him. There was a point (before I started dating him) that his son wanted to live with him but it didn’t work out and now neither speaks to Helios. This is a fact that hurts Helios to no end. I rarely bring up the subject of his children because I can see the exquisite pain it leaves him in.
His son, Apollo, will turn 18 this year. His daughter, Maia, will turn 16 this year. They were born when Helios was young. I cannot judge his decisions because I may have done the same thing when I was his age (and by that I mean try and keep a baby and marry the father) – had I fallen pregnant.
I’ve not met Apollo or Maia. Yet they are my step-children. Mine. I can’t help but wonder where they are, what they’re doing and what they’ll think of me when I finally get to meet them. I’ve been through conversation after conversation in my mind wondering what they’ll think if I say this or that. What do they like? What don’t they like? Have they fallen in with the wrong crowd? Are they good in school? Are they happy?
Ultimately I know I want to strike a deal with them: as I don’t have “Mommy” experience I want to treat them the same way I treated my sister when she was young. The deal will be if I go OTT in any way or if they want an objective opinion they have to tell me and we can discuss how they want to be treated. Of course I came to this idea after remembering how bad my own step-mother was with me. She always looked like she was smelling dog poop when she looked at me. I wasn’t terribly unhappy when Dad got his second divorce. I don’t ever want to come across that badly to Helios’s kids. I love him therefore I love them. That’s the way I work. I strongly believe in family. There’s a part of him in them – whether they care to admit it or not.
In the meantime I’ve decided to wait patiently. I am assuming that curiosity will get the better of them at some point and I’ll meet them then. My relationship with them isn’t as important as his relationship with them. It’s hard to believe but I miss them. I spend a lot of time just wondering about them and the feeling isn’t dissimilar to how I miss my family. Is it possible to miss people you’ve not met?
I sometimes wish Helios had enough strength to try to contact them. My curiosity is overwhelming sometimes and I spend many nights thinking of them. Strength is difficult to gather together when you’ve been rejected by your own children. I respect that and don’t want to see him hurt again if they don’t want to get to know him or simply aren’t ready to get to know us. Teenagers are notoriously difficult to live with and raise. I am reluctant to push the matter precisely because I do not know them.
My mom and sister, I know, are in despair because I’ve married a man and have not bothered to meet his children. I suspect that they think his children know something about him that I don’t. What my family have forgotten is that we don’t know what Apollo and Maia have been told about Helios by their mother. My mom and sister cannot see that Helios is a good person because Apollo and Maia don’t know him and, either out of loyalty to their mother or out of anger towards Helios, they don’t want to know him. While I would be delighted to find them and get to know them myself, I must respect my husband and his feelings about the situation. Ultimately they aren’t my children, sadly. I say sadly because I would have loved to have children with Helios. Apollo and Maia are the closest I’m ever going to have to having my own children and I’d like to get to know them but only when everyone is ready. It’s not fair for me to push anyone – I can only try and help them all cope when they decide to meet.
You can see that it’s a complicated situation. I learned a long time ago that there are no black and white issues – no absolute good or evil. Life is more a question of shades of grey and making the most of difficulties. I just hope that by waiting patiently I’m doing the right thing. I hope they don’t think badly of me because I have the strange notion that I could marry a man without meeting his family.
As usual, and obviously the names of all involved have been changed to protect everyone’s privacy. It is a lovely opportunity to conjure up an idea of what they might be like. Apollo is the god of prophesy and healing. Maia is the goddess of growth and flowers. The month of May is said to come from the name of this goddess. I have purposely chosen these names in the hopes that they live up to the namesakes I have given them – namely “healing” and “growth”.