From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

January 3

When I first met Larry, he came complete with a daughter, McKenna, and a son, Lorin—on weekends. I was completely captivated by my new and charming “instant family,” but the children’s mother was a different story. I really liked Dia, but our positions seemed to dictate a certain grumpiness with each other that I did my best to squelch.

I watched the children grow,changing from toddlers to schoolkids. And their mother and I continued our civilized and awkward interactions, arranging for the children to come and go, and negotiating vacations and holiday schedules. As the years went by, I noticed that our phone calls changed.I actually enjoyed talking to Dia about the kids. We began a slow but perceptible metamorphosis that was completed the year Dia sent me a Mother’s Day card, thanking me for “co-mothering” her children. And while it hasn’t always been perfect, I know it’s been extraordinary.

One year as we all sat around the Christmas tree, I looked around as the children delivered the gifts. There we were,Dia and her husband, Larry and me, the kids . . . and, surprisingly, I felt at home.

Carol Kline

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