His look was so determined.
“Stacie, you’re not invited to my birthday party,” my stepson said. “Just mommy is.”
I hid the pain but it wasn’t entirely surprising. He also didn’t want me to look at him, ask him questions or do things as simple as bring him a napkin when he had a bloody nose. In other words, my 5-year-old stepson was having a hard time attaching to me.
His parents divorced when he was 1 year old and custody is split 50/50 between them. Being separated from his mom at a time when babies are most attached to their mothers caused anxiety that surfaced fairly often. I understood that it wasn’t about me personally.
I responded that, of course, he could decide who was at his party. I smiled and walked into the house. Then I called my mom and cried—a routine that repeated itself often in the early days. He’s 11 now and the other day he told me I am one of his “best friends.” Obviously much has changed. But how? …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the August 2017 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.