We are so used to reading tragic and heartbreaking stories that it's nice to see something positive become widely popular on social media for a change.
Stepmom Emilee Plaayer shared an image on her Facebook page depicting a young girl at a soccer game along with her parents and stepparents. The girl in question was Plaayer's stepdaughter, 4-year-old Maelyn.
In her now viral post, the proud stepmom said that, “[b]ecause of us, I will never believe co-parenting can't work! I KNOW through experience it CAN WORK! Choose to do what's best for your child and everything will just fall into place."
It was with this message of tolerance and, above all, love, that Plaayer was able to show the world that challenges are made to be overcome and to build upon.
“Alex, the stepdad, is in the Army and stationed in Fort Bragg, but every time he is home all four of us attend,” she told reporters.
Regularly, it's just “the three of us,” she added. But usually, they all “make it a point to sit together and cheer her on as a family.”
In order to have more fun supporting their daughter, the 4-year-old's mom, Clara Cazeau, asked a friend to make personalized shirts after the little girl's third game. But their support for the young child — and each other — goes far beyond the soccer field.
When Plaayer was having her child with the 4-year-old's father, Ricky Plaayer, Cazeau was even there as she went into labor.
“She came in and checked on me and waited at the hospital until Everlee was born,” Plaayer told The Huffington Post.
According to Plaayer, Cazeau and her husband, Alex, are just as much in her child's life as they are in the 4-year-old's.
“We do all birthdays together for Maelyn,” the 4-year-old's mom said. “We also go to each other’s birthday dinners with their own families, we do holidays together, we go to one another’s houses, we are literally always doing things together.”
In order to put family first, Maelyn's family put their differences aside, Cazeau told reporters.
“Let go of any past feelings you may have and make it work for the sake of the child,” she said. “Stay strong. It is work every single day to keep this going.”
To Plaayer, co-parentinig is also about setting the best possible example for the child.
“Always respect the people involved because how you treat the other parents is a reflection of who you are,” she added.
With these encouraging and loving words, we sure hope others follow this family's example and put their families — not their differences — first.
Thumbnail and banner credit: Flickr user Kat Grigg