But nothing can prepare you for having a living, breathing, moody, angst filled, teen of your very own.
And yet that is just what we have in the form of Tyler Marie, our 12 year old, 6th grade, pre-teen chaos.
Don't misunderstand me.
Tyler is phenomenal.
She's sweet, smart, and super (okay super sounds silly but I liked the alliteration).
Seriously though, she IS a super big sister, sometimes bossy and overbearing, but I like to think she learned that from the best... me, her step-mom.
Tyler and I met in 2002 when she was a 4 year old cutie and I was a 20 year old love-stricken young woman. Her father and I began dating long-distance and my frequent trips to Michigan grew a bond between Tyler and myself. This picture was taken on one of my many visits. We spent time playing, going shopping, and watching cartoons. It was and still is a fun friendship!
Two years later in 2004, Michael and I got married when Tyler was 6 years old. And my relationship transformed from friend/dad's girlfriend to step-mother. It was an easy transition for us because I was as much in love with her as I was Michael and I knew that part of God's plan for my life was to be this precious baby girl's mommy. I accepted the challenge head on and we worked through the "here and there" struggles of adjusting to new roles in each other's lives. It is still not perfect but like I said, Tyler is phenomenal and her ability to accomodate new life transitions is remarkable.
Her daddy and I have now been married for six years. In that short time the chaos truly began, with the addition of Sierra in 2005, Dean in 2006, and Christopher in 2009.
Through it all, Tyler is a rock. She's calm and easygoing. She has her moments of moodiness and angst, but she holds her own and she is confident in who she is and confident in her role in our household.
Being the big sister is not always easy but she wears the privilege with a smile... and truth be told, she likes the occasional authority.
Tyler is friendly and outgoing, and the girl can talk (hmmm... wonder how she ended up so much like her non-biological mom). She loves to sing and is enjoying being a part of the youth ministry at church.
When I look at Tyler now... I am amazed that the little four year old that I fell in love with so many years ago has matured into the beautiful 12 year old that she is today. But somewhere in all that pre-teen chaos is the little girl... funny how we never really lose that child no matter how old we are.
Teens are my specialty.
Good thing, because before long I will have an entire house full of them!
As for now, Tyler is our only pre-teen/almost teenager.... and we are loving every moment that we have with her, watching her grow and mature into the young woman God wants her to be.
And that is Tyler's Spotlight.