When Preston and I started “talking”, we communicated through instant messaging that Facebook had way back then. I didn’t have a smartphone and texting was a little difficult. From the very beginning, he told me all about the love of his life. Her name is Katie, but Preston affectionately calls her Angel. In my mind, I pictured a petite, cherubic little girl. When we finally decided it was time for our kids to meet, I was in for quite a surprise.
There was nothing petite about the girl he brought to my house. She was taller than me. I never considered myself short until the Dennis’s entered our family. Preston is 6’5 and Katie isn’t far behind. She scared me then and she still scares me now. 🤣. My boys are all boys. Puppy dog tails and snails. I can yell at them. They’ve come to expect it👌🏻. They are rough and tough. They can be nasty. And dirty. I can’t tell you the number of times I chased them through the house after I found lizards in their pockets.
Then there was Katie. What was I supposed do? I’m still figuring it out. When it’s your biological kid, they are stuck with you have the “right” to post all over Facebook, whether you’re bragging or venting about some awful deed they did. They don’t have another parent they could run to and cause trouble.
They are literally stuck with you. There’s freedom in that.
But it’s not always fair to Katie. So in fairness to her, I’m throwing caution to the wind and talking about her. She’s the one thing that Preston’s knows when he lays his head down at night, that he got “right”. I’ve never known a man that would literally hang the moon for his child like he tried. It made me love him even more. I’ve gained a beautiful daughter. Not a stepdaughter. A daughter. And as the years have gone by, I rely and respect her more and more. And I think she does me. She knows I love her daddy.
He raised her to be the beautiful, caring, young lady she is. Up until she left for college in the fall of 2015, Friday nights were date nights….. not with me and Preston but with our kids. Preston courted her every single Friday night. It didn’t matter if there was tornado or he was sick as a dog. It didn’t matter if he had been on a business trip and flew back into town that night. Friday nights belonged to his Angel. No exceptions. Complete with him holding the car door open for her. I have always jokingly told him that he has set the bar so high that no guy will meet the expectations! She’s his angel. And will always be.
During Preston’s journey, Katie has had to dig deep and find strength she never knew she had. I hate the circumstances that we all endured, but it’s been beautiful watching her blossom and find herself. Katie has taken life by the horns and Preston and I couldn’t be more proud. She’s going to school, working, and making a name for herself. There’s a sweet relief for us both when we can look at all three of our kids and know that they will make it in this life. Life hasn’t been fair to any of them but they have the skills and knowledge to be self sufficient, fully independent adults.
As time passes, our relationship continues to evolve. I’ll always be her other mama and she’ll always be my evil redheaded child(private joke). Seriously, at her ripe age of 21, she’s become a source of encouragement and strength for me. I try to hide the weariness of this life of mine, but she always seems to sense when the load is heavy and will give me a card, or send me the most encouraging text messages. I don’t get to see her near as much as I’d like, because she unselfishly comes and spends Tuesday’s with her dad and getting him out of the house while I work. Preston has come to treasure that time with her. And that makes my heart happy.
It’s such a blessing to know that I’m not alone in this journey. All three of these kids do whatever is necessary to make our family function smoothly.
I love you all…. Preston, Katie, Chase, and Hunter. I’m proud of each of you.