Tuesday, December 25, 2007
We picked the StepSon up at around 2 PM today for our holiday familiness. Because I am a Stepmother (definition: perpetually looking for ways to make children everywhere unhappy), I delayed most of the gift exchanging until after dinner so that StepSon would have to actually interact with us for a few hours before disappearing with his iTunes gift card to figure out what to spend it on. It was a risky maneuver - sometimes, it would probably be better for all of our relationships if we spent our family time in separate rooms. With a large house between us. And maybe a small country. But today, the Christmas spirit seemed to have taken hold of the teenage psyche and made wonderful miracles happen. Sure, he disappeared once an hour to call the girlfriend he hasn't seen in HALF A LIFETIME (translation: four days). And he ate all of the candy from his stocking before dinner. But then, after dinner when we exchanged presents, I realized I had only been punishing myself with the whole "let's spend time together first" rule. Because this Stepson of mine - who I will probably want to strangle at least twice in the next 72 hours - this wonderful teenager showed just how much he actually pays attention to me. Me, the Chief Torturer of his young and angst-ridden life. HE BOUGHT ME A BARRY MANILOW CD. It gets better. He bought me a CHRISTMAS Barry Manilow CD that I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW EXISTED. Of course now, as he and his dad play darts on his new electronic board, he's regretting the decision a little. I think I'm the only one enjoying the fact that Barry is louder than the annoying voice coming out of the dart board. Honestly, I love this CD just as much because I can't believe that he's paid enough attention to me over the years to know how much I would love it. And when he told me that he had seen a commercial for the CD and known I would love it, I may or may not have momentarily considered bursting into tears and throwing my arms around him. Instead, I did the next best thing that I could think of. I fed him dessert.