My husband told me several days ago that Jackson asked him if I would get mad if he called me mom. I knew he had been thinking about something along these lines by the questions he had been asking lately. I should start by explaining why Jackson would be contemplating such a thing. We have had full custody of my husband’s three boys for over 4 years. Jackson doesn’t remember a time that he didn’t live with us and our 13-year-old has been calling me mom for a couple of years. When they first moved in, I explained to them that I was not their mom and didn’t ever want to take her place. My name is C.C. and that is what they could call me. When Jacob first starting calling me mom I was concerned. After giving it much thought, I realized that he was old enough to make that choice on his own and needed me to fill the void that he was feeling by his mom not being in his life consistently.
I am explaining this because so many people simply don’t know that our youngest boys are not mine biologically. I treat them as if they are my own. In my heart they are. When my husband and I married, we said vows not to just each other, but to our children as well. The wedding ceremony was more about showing them through action that we were combining our family together and making commitments not just between husband and wife, but most importantly to them. If you have read any of my previous posts, you will remember that after the accident that Alex pleaded with the paramedics to help his brothers. We are not a blended family. We are family.
I believe that being a mother is about more than just giving birth. Being a mother isn’t the name your children call you. Being a mother is shown by actions. It is a verb. It means taking them to doctor appointments, making them do their homework and brush their teeth. It means teaching them right and wrong. To hold the door open for women and lift the toilet seat when they use the bathroom (let’s be real here). It means sleepless nights when they are sick. Hugs when they need comfort and discipline when they choose to not follow rules. I treat my husbands boys as I would my own, in every possible way. Of course I want them to love me. I want their approval. But I will not and have never been afraid to do what I know in my heart is best for them. My philosophy has always been that they can grow up to hate me and that is okay with me as long as they grow up to be great men. I love them too much to do anything less.
As we were on our way to Vanderbilt today, Jackson finally decided to discuss it with me. Thank God my husband gave me advance notice because I probably would have cried all the way to Nashville and the whole conversation would have been a catastrophe. I explained to him that I would not be upset in the least and that it was his choice to make. I believe that he will continue to call me C.C., simply out of habit. To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. What did matter was that by his question I know that he knows that I love him as a mother should. He knows that even though I am not his biological mother, I have treated him as my son. And at the end of the day, whatever he chooses to call me, that is all that matters.
P.S. I know that this is personal and some would perhaps wonder why I choose to share it. There are several reason… First, this blog is about my life and raising our boys after such a tragic event in our lives. Second, I am an open book. I value truth and can’t expect to receive it unless I am willing to give it. Lastly, life is too short to worry about what others think or being afraid to step on toes, so I don’t 🙂
Love and blessings,