Split families has become a lot more common however whenever someone hears that the parents are split, they assume that the mom is the one taking care of the kids. That wasn't the case for me.
My dad was both parents for me growing up; he played the mom and the dad role. He was there to talk to me about every crush I had or every puberty thing that happened to me growing up. He even bought me flowers and took me out to eat as well as went into the store himself to buy me pads when I got my first period.
He learned how to braid hair when I was younger and learned all the new fashion trends so I would be on top of it. Every shopping spree felt like I was with my mom and not my dad. He took on both roles with such grace and speed that I never felt I was missing out on anything.
However the older I got, the more abandoned I felt. Sure, I saw her every once in awhile but a majority of the time she always called and cancelled. It got to a point where when I was about 4 or 5 she called and told me that we'd go to the beach but I never told my dad because I knew she would cancel and sure enough she did.
Around that point is where I started to wonder why. Why wasn't I good enough and why didn't my mom want to spend time with me?
But then I started school and I realized that blood doesn't make you family.
My grade school and middle school mom was my best friends mom; I originally met her through soccer and then we ended up going to the same school. She bought me presents every Christmas like I was her own kid and even threw me a birthday party when I was 7. She showed up to every sporting event even when her daughter wasn't playing to cheer me on and support me. She even joined the snack sign up list stating she was my mom for softball for a few years. I went to her for everything. Yes, my dad was always there and I told him everything as well, but it was nice having that female connection. Someone I could look up to and say I wanted to be like. She taught me how to cook and how to braid hair. She even taught me how to apply makeup when I became old enough.
Like everything though, once 8th grade came and went we ended up going to different high school and drifted apart so I no longer had my second mom. I was heartbroken. It was like going through that abandonment as a kid all over again. Then I met my high school best friend.
My high school mom wasn't so much as the teaching mom but the loving mom. When I went through my first relationship she was always all ears for every up and down and she was there during my first break up. She met my boyfriends in high school before my dad did. I spent just as much time in their house as I did in mine for those four years. She knew about every homework assignment and test and would always wish me luck before one or congratulate me after doing well. She showed up to my hockey games for the two years I played in high school before my concussions and helped take care of me through them. She always cooked my favorite meals when I was over and even made me desserts and got me small gifts for special occasions.
Just like middle school, her and I went our separate ways for college. This time was easier though. I was more independent and didn't feel the need for a mom figure anymore. I knew I was going to be okay just like that little 4 year old knew she didn't really need her mom because she had so many woman around her who loved her. Woman who filled in for "bring your mom" events and showed up for everything that meant something to me.
But I still ended up with an amazing college mom. Definitely one of my favorites. The cool fun mom. The mom that's more of your friend than your mom. The one you can cuss around and talk shit with. The one that will make fun of you constantly just because she can. Yet will buy you stuff to make you feel better. Always listens when you're panicking and is always there to cry on when you're sad.
I always thought that I needed my mom, that I was so different and that my life would be better if I had a normal family however I realize that's not true. I had plenty of moms throughout my life even if I never really had my biological one.
So this is a thank you to my second moms.
Thank you for always being there for every sporting event, school concert, play, and even graduation. For always cheering me on even when your own daughter wasn't present.
Thank you for being so supportive. You always listened to me whenever I needed anything and always helped me to find the correct way. For helping me find the best path for me and helping me get through the hard times.
Thank you for the laughs. I can't thank you enough for all the fun enjoyable times that we had together. I will forever cherish all those movie nights, dinners, shopping sprees, bonfires, and even car rides. My time spent with you was always so full of joy that I'm glad I was able to experience.
Thank you for the food. I was able to experience meals cooked by a mom even though my dad was an amazing cook.
Thank you for loving me like your own. I never once felt like I didn't belong. I felt like I was truly your own daughter and that there was no difference. I never once felt like I was abandoned; I felt nothing but love.
I'm sure my life would be different had my parents stayed together but I am extremely happy with how my life is now. I will always wish my real mom acted more like my mom but I wouldn't trade all the second and more real moms I was able to experience throughout my years.
So thank you, second moms, for being some of the best things to ever happen to my life.