To Love Him Is To Love His Kids Unconditionally.
As I had entered adulthood and the dating scene many years ago, I had created a list of criteria that I felt was what I wanted in a relationship, and one of them was not to get involved with a man with kids.
I had heard way too many stories filled with complicated situations that warranted that criterion. I mean, who hasn’t, right?
Little did I know that my life was about to do a 180 in the nearby future.
I was doing so good at fulfilling my list until I met…. him: the man who would become my best friend and lifetime partner. Attached to him were two little girls. Not one girl, but two!
Initially, I thought, “Oh, boy. I don’t know about this one.” But there he was. And there they were. There was something about him that I couldn’t shake off no matter how hard I tried. So I gave in to what was tugging at my heart. I threw in the towel and gave it a shot.
I am not going to lie, though. I was a bit hesitant. Afraid, even. The thought of being responsible for two little humans that weren’t mine was a heavy load to fathom.
Looking back, I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only did I receive unconditional love from one person, but I gained two extra little hearts.
There was a time our little family of 4 (before my daughters were born) took a trip to our favorite bank-breaking store, Costco. I was pregnant with my first daughter at the time, so the minute I entered the store, I automatically scanned for the nearest bathroom sign. Sure enough, three minutes in, I waddled my pregnant self towards the bathroom.
Anyways, as I made my path back to my little family, Chris had told me that as soon as I left their side, Molly (age 3 at the time) started panicking and asked him “Where is Auntie Eggs?!”. The second I heard that story, my heart broke into a million pieces, and I found myself fighting my hardest not to cry my eyes out in the middle of the store.
My emotional reaction wasn’t all hormones (pretty close, though) but due to the realization that I had made the right decision.
That was the first time she had ever called me Auntie Eggs. Not even mad that she couldn’t pronounce the M at the beginning of my name either. She’s 6 now and still calls me Auntie Eggs, and I’ll never correct her.
Her acknowledgment of who I was and her reaction to my missing presence was something I didn’t know I was waiting for: love from his kids.
Because of his girls, I was able to get a head start at parenting. In fact, they made me a mother before I was able to have kids of my own, and for that, I will always be grateful to them.
To not love his kids–to reject his girls–was to reject him entirely, and that just wasn’t fair. They are part of him as much as he is part of them, and the sooner I was able to accept him and his girls as a whole package, the sooner our relationship started to thrive and flourish and breathe. I never considered his kids as “heavy baggage,” as some would say. To me, they will always be my bonus daughters. A true blessing for sure.
It was never just him as an addition to my life. It was him and his girls and I can’t imagine it any other way. And to think I was going to rob myself of this blessing because of some misconception with dating single parents!
Like my best friend once told me, “I think when we reach a certain age, we come to expect and accept the fact that there will be single parents out there who need love too. “
So the next time you meet a person who has kids, don’t be so quick to turn away. Instead, give it a shot. You’ll never know what blessings he/she is tagging along.
Photographer credit: littlexlittlephotography