It's an interesting phenomenon, being a stepmom. You find yourself very different from how you thought you would be some day, and while you are happy to be here, there are times that you wish you had been there for your stepchildren's entire childhood. I met my husband when the boys were 6 and 7, so I missed out on a good portion of their upbringing. I wasn't there for the hard times, when their parents were struggling to parent together without being together. By the time I came on the scene, that had pretty much been figured out. And if it had not, I probably wouldn't be on the scene right now.
However, now we have these two teenagers who are doing what teenagers do. They are testing their boundaries. They are seeing how far they can push before we push back. And they are probably doing things behind our backs that we don't even want to know about. CC#1 is certainly living life in a faster lane than I ever lived in high school (and this is only his freshman year!), and I am painfully aware of all the things that can happen to throw him off his road to the future. One decision can be life changing when you are fifteen, if it is the wrong decision. And I often worry than such a misstep will change his life.
We are lucky that they are good kids. They have respect for us adults and do well in school. They enjoy wholesome activities like playing sports and going to the movies with their friends and attending their school football games. However, we can't be with them every minute of every day, and we have to trust them to make plenty of hard decisions on their own. And we have to trust that when they are at a crossroads, and one road leads to a good place and the other to one that may not be so good, they will follow the good road.
At this rate, I will age ten years for every one of their high school years. And I can't even imagine how their mom feels...but I guess we can only navigate this together. And luckily for us, we have gotten good at that.