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Adventures of A New Stepmom

Motherhood comes in all different forms, as one Plum District staffer shares.

As a new stepmom to a 14-year old girl, Chandler, I approached this new title with serious trepidation.   I mean, I never thought I would even have children.   But immediately after getting engaged last year, I felt the weight and responsibility of this new title and took  action.  I was determined that EVERY time Chandler came to visit would be a  great one!  My San Francisco apartment was suddenly full of snacks, magazines, and beauty products fit for teen consumption.  She happened to mention in passing her penchant for gummy worms.  A five-pound bag awaited her every weekend.  A balmy SF October weekend happened to have a “icy tinge” to it in the evening? A shopping excursion for winter clothes was in the works.  School shoes have a minor discoloration on the toe?  She got two new ones to replace them. My husband would go along with it, (admittedly with a bit of an eye-roll), but he also knew that I was developing my nurturing side and he didn’t want to stifle my determined preparations for every single visit.

One weekend, I KNEW would be a great one — shopping for 8th grade graduation dance dress.  I  did some reconnaissance missions at about a dozen outlets and shops in the city and had created a list, complete with names, addresses, and phone numbers of all the stylish dress shops within a 20 mile radius.  I was ready.

But when the weekend came, I had to meet my own mom and get fitted for my own wedding dress.  Not a big problem – my thoroughly vetted list went to my husband, and off I went to prepare for my own nuptials.  As I was in the fitting room, I received two texts in rapid succession:

Greg:  ”I don’t think this was a good idea.”

Chandler:  ”When will you be back?”

Five minutes later, another set:

Greg: “We’re going home.  Chandler is being impossible.”

Chandler:  ”I just want to go with you.”

I was needed!  And badly, from the looks of it.  Off I went to pick up Chandler and search for a dress.  Only one shop and five dresses later, we found it — an ethereal concoction of blue satin with a delicate tulle overlay.  I will always remember the smile she had when she tried on that dress — the bright blue satin matched only by the bright blue of her eyes.  And I think my heart was close to bursting when she hugged me and whispered, “I love you.  Thank you for caring about me.”  I held it together then, but burst into tears when I told my husband about it later as he cradled me in his arms.  “Being a parent has great moments, doesn’t it?”  he asked.

It sure does.  I can’t wait for more.

Chi Le is the Market Research Manager at the Plum District home office. She recently got married and is enjoying every minute with her extended family.