Unexpected Stepparenting Moments

*Note to Readers: Our out-of-state move begins next week. My blogging will be sporadic for the next month but I hope to return to a regular schedule by late summer.

Yesterday was my 50th birthday. A milestone. I had great plans for a leisurely morning on my son’s first day of summer, while considering a movie before going to dinner with my girlfriends. (With my husband working out of state, I planned my own celebration). But my plans went completely awry.

“I’m headed to the Emergency Room,” I heard my stepson, Payton, say on the other end of the phone as I scrambled out of bed. “I’m in severe pain in my lower back and don’t know what to do.” I sensed panic in his voice and tried to calm  his fears. “Let me call the doctor and try to get you in. You will sit for hours at the ER,” I said. “Come to the house so I can help you.”

Less than an hour later we were waiting in the doctor’s office, my stepson barely able to sit on the exam table.The doctor explained that it appeared he had a kidney stone and would need to wait it out, pushing fluids and surviving on pain meds while praying the stone would pass on its own. I suspected that was the diagnosis we would hear and I think my stepson was relieved it wasn’t anything more serious. But kidney stones are not fun to deal with.

I dropped Payton at our house to rest while I picked up his pain medicine. Upon returning, I found him curled in a fetal position, trying to cope with the pain. He took the medicine and began a steady intake of fluids. As the medicine began to take effect, he dozed off quietly.

He stayed at the house most of the day while I encouraged fluid intake and resting. He expressed sincere appreciation for my help during his time of need. He knew it was my birthday and apologized for the inconvenience. But I was thankful I could help.

I reflected on the day later with my sister and she remarked, “That’s just how life goes, isn’t it?” It was okay that I didn’t get to enjoy a leisurely morning or make it to the movies. I did enjoy a special dinner with dear friends that evening as we celebrated my birthday. And I cherished the fact that I was able to help my stepson through a difficult day.

Critical stepparenting moments occur when we least expect them. But if we take the time to rise to the occasion, those are the moments most appreciated by our stepchildren.

Have you experienced unexpected stepparenting moments lately?

Related Posts:

Expect the Unexpected on Your Stepparenting Journey

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

When Stepparenting Isn’t What You Expected


4 Responses to “Unexpected Stepparenting Moments”

  1. 1 Kay Swatkowski June 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    That was truly step parenting with grace. You must really care for your stepson and I am sure he knows it. Thanks for your site. I know a number of step parents and will be sure to refer them to this site.

  2. 2 Sue June 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I love moments like these. Not your stepson being in pain, of course, but I love the fact that he called you. He could have gone to the ER on his own. He could have called a friend. Instead? He called you.Even though he didn't say it with words, he knew you would be there for him, knew he could count on you to help, knew you were the right person to turn to in his time of need.As far as I'm concerned, that is one of the most priceless birthday presents a step-parent could ever receive.Happy 50th birthday, Gayla!

  3. 3 Step Parenting with Grace June 10, 2011 at 2:56 am

    Thank you for your comment, Kay. My prayer is that I can provide help and encouragement to other stepparents and would love for you to refer others to my site.Thank you for the birthday wishes Sue. It was a good day and I am thankful my stepson called and asked for my help. At 21-years-old, he still needs a Mom every now and then!Gayla

  4. 4 Sue July 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Gaylaaaaaaa … where aaaaaaaaaare you? We miss you!

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