I'll be honest. Sometimes, being a step-parent is hard. There are ups and downs just like being a normal parent, but there is also the realization that if something were to happen to your spouse, you're no longer a part of that child's life. This became quite the reality when I lost my relationship with my ex's daughter.
Youngest Step-Son and I were talking the other day and I had to explain to him that I'm not really his legal guardian. He asked me lots of questions about what this meant for me and for him. He also asked how it relates to the new baby we will add to our family someday.
He asked, "If something happened to Dad, would you automatically get his part of custody?" I told him no.. that's not how it works, but that I could ask to still see him and his brother and if I needed to, I could even ask the courts.
He responded, "I would fight to see you."
This child is amazing. At not even 12 years old, he has decided that if his dad left this world, he would actually fight to stay a part of my life. The thought makes me want to tear up a little now, because I never thought we would have a relationship so strong. Moments like these make me realize that every struggle is worth it.