Double-mom bonanza, by Deb Katie

I grew up in what I like to think of as the most functional dysfunctional family in the world. After taking a few years to sort things out, my father, stepmother, and mother all learned to co-exist peacefully. My mother, like all ex-wives on my father’s side, was welcome at family events.

When I was a senior in high school, she even lived with us for a while.

Now, I love my mother. And I love my stepmother. But this was my senior year in high school, and I was doing that late-adolescence thing where you want to take the training wheels off. When it came time to go visit a prospective college campus and BOTH mothers were slated to attend, I was overwhelmed.

That’s the age, after all, where you think, “I’m practically an adult! I could do this on my own, if somebody would just let me!” (Also, in my case, it would have been helpful to know how to drive.) But instead of being free as a bird, I felt about as free as an egg in a nest with two mommy birds.

I can’t remember which teacher it was, but at some point, I found myself unloading about My Two Moms to one of my female teachers. She listened patiently and then said, “Some day you’ll look back and remember complaining about having TWO women who love you so much that they both want to be a part of this with you, and you are going to feel like an idiot.”

Over the past few years, things have happened with both of my moms that have made me contemplate that unthinkable thought–what if I didn’t have her here? Thankfully, they’re both safe and healthy, but it hasn’t always been the case.

And, being that we are all involved in this crazy busride called life, it won’t always be the case, either.

So to whichever teacher it was, let me just say, yes, you were right. I look back at myself and I know in retrospect that, even though I was just a young nestling yearning for a little independence, I was indeed an idiot.

My books now all tend to feature mothers–mothers who are strong and smart and have made their own mistakes but are, when all is said and done, loving and amazing women who would do anything for their children.

I’m not a mother yet, but when I am one, I’ll know how to make my children feel safe and and smart and creative and capable and strong and secure and, above all, loved.

How could I not? I, who had the best teachers?

Much love to my two mommies (who walked each other down the aisle at my wedding)!

~ Katie Alender

12 thoughts on “Double-mom bonanza, by Deb Katie

  1. “Some day you’ll look back and remember complaining about having TWO women who love you so much that they both want to be a part of this with you, and you are going to feel like an idiot.”

    HA! Wise teacher! What did you say at the time? Or did you just toss your hair and say, “Whatever” (as I would have…)

  2. You’re not alone, Katie! All four of my parents were on my wedding invitation. And my sin considers himself lucky to have three sets of grandparents. But then, I lucked out in the mom and step-mom department.

    I agree, your teacher was very wise. Great post!

  3. Thanks, Eve and Meredith! 🙂

    Kristina, I probably went, “Ugh!” and ran off to complain to some people who would tell me what I wanted to hear.

  4. Wonderful post. My daughter is a step mom and has worked hard for the last seven years (since my granddaughter was one and she came into her life) to have a good relationship with the bio mom. In many cases, they would probably be friends even without said daughter in the picture. The two moms do a lot of things together for the daughter, joint parties, joint volunteering at school in daughter’s class, etc. My daughter knows that the important one here is the daughter, and I hope that in years to come, my granddaughter sees having two moms as you did. Thank you for sharing. I will share this post with my daughter, too.

  5. Claire, I’m sure your granddaughter will appreciate what her two moms have done. Especially as she gets older and people marvel over what she sees as just the day-to-day interactions of her family!

  6. Everyone has a life story — a reason in their childhood background — that shapes/makes them into who they grow up to be. How proud your two Moms must be of their lovely, talented and oh-so-wise Katie!

  7. Katie, one of the things I really liked about your book was the mom. She was so realistic, and it was refreshing to have a flawed, but also very good, mother depicted. But I can’t imagine what it would be like to have TWO mothers. Good lord.

  8. Brilliant post, and you’ve brought tears to my eyes with that comment. Isn’t it odd how a random comment like that can smack you in the face and make you think? And I’m with Eileen: I love how both your mothers walked you down the aisle.

    And good for you for giving moms an even shake in your books!

  9. As Deb Katie’s father, I’d like to add that I, too, am extremely proud of my daughter. You are beautiful and I love you!

  10. Pingback: The Debutante Ball » Blog Archive » Highlights recalled by a reluctant traveler, by Deb Katie

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