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Oh my God - I'm a stepfather

I'm gay. If the very mention of that information twists your brain in an uncomfortable manner, then you may not want to read this entry.

I'm jealous of a 10-year-old.

Sad, but true. When I met my current partner Rich, I knew he had kids - three, as a matter of fact. Of course, a heart in love doesn't necessarily look at the practicality of these kinds of things, and all I knew is that I had met the most important person to ever grace my life, and he was someone to hold on to. Rich is caring, supportive, patient, sensitive but strong, and everything I had always hoped for in a partner. He also came with three - no, make that four - caveats: three pre-adolescent boys and a demanding ex-wife.

Becoming a gay parent to three impressionable children is like jumping onto a rollercoaster that is already hurtling towards a loop-de-loop. They take over your life and your time, and even though they live with their mother during the school year, Rich sees them every night, and gets them every other weekend. Perhaps this in and of itself wouldn't be so tough for me to handle, but the weekends that are supposed to be ours aren't really ours: Dustyn and Gregory have baseball practice at conflicting times, which means Rich has to drive to Baltimore to help with transportation even on non-kid weekends (we live in Washington, DC; it's an interesting daily commute), Dustyn's 10th birthday party is on a non-kid weekend, Halloween - well, you get the point. What was supposed to be every other weekend being for just us has turned into a single weekend in three months, and frankly, it gets to me sometimes.

So now I must come to grips with the fact that my wants have to take second place, and to a gay man who expected to only be sharing his life with a lone individual, it's harder than you may think. I am constantly torn between being the best, most patient partner I know to be, and wishing I could scream out, "what about me? When does what I want matter?" As time progresses, I get more used to it, but the fact of the matter is that I am jealous: jealous of how much time they get from Rich, jealous that he still remains so friendly with his ex-wife, jealous that the things they want they immediately get, while I have to wait for months. It doesn't seem fair - and just saying that makes me feel incredibly, incredibly selfish.

So for now, I am learning how to be a stepfather, and learning how to share my lover and my time. I am fortunate I didn't have to change any diapers. But now, I have to figure out how to completely jump into the rollercoaster without bouncing right back out, and it has been more difficult than I imagined.