About two years ago, I came across a personalized garden stepping stone while shopping online. The stone had little cartoon stick figures with a person’s name above each one. Gary likes to garden, and I loved the idea of having something unique and personal to give to him. As I placed the order, there was only room to enter 5 names, so I shrugged, left mine out, and ordered the stone with Gary’s name and the four children’s names.

When it was unveiled, the kids loved it! They asked which figure was them, laughed at each other’s little stick person, and thought it was cool that their names were on it.

Then, the puzzled looks started, and the folded arms, curious glances, and finally one of the kids turned to me and demanded, “Where is your name?”

I explained to them that the company who made it only left room for five names, and mine didn’t fit on the stone. I thought that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t, not by a long shot.

“Why isn’t your name on here?”

I’ve been asked that question more than once since then, and every time we have moved and found a new home for the stepping stone, one of the kids is sure to point out, “Smirking Cat’s name isn’t on there. She should have put it on there.” Followed by sidelong dirty looks, like I committed a federal offense and had yet to make retribution.

That stepping stone is by our front door now. I walked past it after being called “nothing” by Gary’s ex’s father about a week or so ago. The look on Bear’s face when he heard that and turned to look at me was indescribable: confused, offended, hurt.

Nothing? To who?

To people who carry on like tantrum-prone toddlers in front of the kids? To people who pay no mind to how much their behavior and words scare and hurt the kids? To people who so blindly reject the fact that the kids care for me that they stomp all over those feelings without a second thought? I can’t say I lay awake at night worrying what people like that think of me.

To the kids who insist my name belongs on that stepping stone with them and their father?

That is what is important to me: who I am to the kids, to Gary. To the people who matter.


About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in family, kids, love, priorities. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Nothing

  1. Sharon says:

    I think Gary should make a new art project out of that rock. You definitely need to be on it.

  2. You are very lucky to have Sk's that love you like that. We had a Christmas ornament made at the mall that had all of our names on it, and the Kid got pissed off because my name was on it and his mothers wasn't… Talk about feeling 2″ tall….

  3. Smirking Cat says:

    Sharon, that is a great idea! I didn't think of that.

    ESM, I feel very lucky to have the relationships that I do with the kids, especially with all the attempts to destroy that by jealousy, insecurity, whatever fuels the lies and nastiness.

  4. Wow, that is amazing. I salute you!

    My stepboys (OK, probably only the oldest, but he's the one with the power) would cross the seven seas to keep me left out and unacknowledged as far as possible.

    I agree with Sharon – being asked/expected to be on the stone is a great reason to celebrate with a new stone!

    You encounter with the other side of the kidss' family sounded really traumatic. I hope some of the sting is starting to subside a little.

  5. Amy says:

    I agree with Sharon. There should be some way to add your name to the rock.

    You're important to who matters to you. The rest of them- opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one but that doesn't make it smell good. 😉

  6. furiousBall says:

    that's so darn sweet.

  7. AngryDad says:

    It's great that they love you so much. I got lucky when i remarried, and my daughter immediately fell in love with her. She even told her that she is prettier than her mom…ha!

  8. Some modifications can definetly be made to the stone. SC is a very special someone to us. I you she knows that. We love her, need her and like to tickle her between her toes.

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