The official site of author Ruth McLeod-Kearns

Ruth McLeod-Kearns is an advocate for opiate/heroin overdose, author, creator of the I'll Bring the Coffee blog series and a contributing writer for Things Women Want Freedom of Expression magazines.

Here, you can connect with the author, follow her social media accounts and download the thought-provoking novelettes. As always, she'll bring the coffee.

Choose the Loafers

I never really understood how families become so extended until the guys started to get serious about their girlfriends. It seemed that forever I was their main gal. I was the one who they confided in, even if it hurt, I would listen. I could definitly tell they were growing up, then one day, they were men. How did we get here?

I was asked to slide over, and let the new girl who held their hearts be the one. As old as that makes me feel at times, I get true joy listening to their dreams. I never try and discourage those, even if I don't actually see it coming to fruition. Those thoughts are what propel us to get out of bed each and every day. To find a job, go to school, they are a true necessity in this life.

The young women the boys have fallen in love with are truly wonderful! I have grown to love them as my own, and I try to understand their needs as well. They will after all be the moms that bring me grandchildren. The ultimate trophy of parenting.

It is a tricky road I am traveling. I need to remember that the boys need to make this transformation in our relationship. It stings just a little when I realize that the tomorrows they are planning have me in the background. How far we have travelled from little guys in my lap, crawling in my bed to say they love me. The kissing contests that none of them remember, but I will never forget.

When I was first engaged to their dad, his mom, myself and Rob went shoe shopping. How mundane you think. But it was a moment tatooed on my heart forever. I chose one, his mom chose another. We both just stared at him to see which shoe he would select to buy. I realize now it was like a standoff at the OK Corral. It had nothing to do with footwear, and everything to do with who he would listen to. Ironically, I cannot remember which he chose. I asked him the other day, he can't remember either. It better have been the loafers, though had I known she would be dead in just a few years, I would have gone with her shoe.

My boys are choosing their shoes now. They have women at their sides that are helping them, and my opinion means little at this point. I have to remind myself of those two kids years ago standing at the register. A young man needing a pair of shoes, never understanding the stink eye his mom and girlfriend were shooting at eachother.

Boys, it is time to choose your shoes. My advice? These are the women that you now need to please. They need to feel comfortable to voice an opinion that is different than mine. If I try to override them, I will be the loser, even if I win in the moment. I now am the mother of a family that has growing pains, but we are worlds better because of it. I have three boys who are falling in love. I can't promise it will always be good, but that is what you will together, figure out. Not with your mom, but with your wife. So by all means, go with the shoes they choose. I will adjust, and you will too. We will be a big family with new little McLeods running around. This will be the day I see just a little piece of heaven. And the guys? What a nice pair of loafers they will have on their feet.

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention, "Understanding the Epidemic: Drug overdose deaths continued to increase in 2015", 12/16/16