When Katie Hild married Jeremy Musser, she didn’t just gain a husband; she got stepson Landon into the bargain, too. And her union came not only with the weight of responsibility that comes with being a parental figure, but also a lot of expectation from Landon’s biological mom Casey. What’s more, Katie and Casey’s relationship had sometimes been a difficult one – so when the bride chose to make an unexpected statement on her wedding day, the whole room may very well have been in shock.
Katie remembers the exact date on which she met the man who would eventually become her husband. It was April 17, 2013, and by all accounts, the pair hit it off from the onset. A mere six weeks into their blossoming relationship, though, Jeremy would drop a bombshell.
Specifically, during a text exchange between the couple, Jeremy admitted to Katie that he had a child. In response, Katie asked, “How old is it? Two?” But the reply she would receive left her stunned. It turned out that Jeremy’s son, Landon, had been born on April 28 – that is, 11 days after the couple had met.
“I sat in my apartment in utter shock,” Katie later posted on Facebook about the reveal. “A million questions going through my mind. I had known him for six weeks? And his son was three weeks? Why didn’t he tell me? How do I react? I stayed calm and said, ‘OMG, that’s so exciting!’”
This excitement was a ruse to hide the way that she was really feeling, however. On Facebook, Katie continued, “I never let on that I was constantly questioning myself, panicking or overthinking. I constantly asked, ‘What am I missing? What else don’t I know?’ I couldn’t trust everything he said.”
Despite Katie’s reservations about the relationship and the difficulties that followed, though, she stuck with her new boyfriend. But there would be yet another hurdle to overcome: Jeremy’s ex. “Yup,” Katie admitted on Facebook, “Landon’s mom, Casey, and I hated each other.”
Eventually, though, Katie realized that she didn’t want to fight with anyone anymore. And so, just as Landon was about to turn one, she connected to his mom. Then, unusually, a unique bond began to grow between the pair, with Katie and Casey even regularly sharing “mommy dates” together.
In fact, Katie’s friendship with Landon’s mom grew ever stronger – even after Casey wed a man called Tyler with whom Landon’s dad struggled to get on. Nonetheless, when Katie and Jeremy’s own wedding came around, Katie wanted both Casey and Tyler involved in her big day. They were, after all, Landon’s family, too.
But no one else had likely anticipated just how much Katie wanted Casey and Tyler to be in her wedding. Indeed, the bride hadn’t told anyone what she had planned for that day. All was revealed during Katie and Jeremy’s ceremony, however. And it all began before the couple began exchanging the vows, when the officiant addressed Landon’s mom and her husband and asked them to stand up.
Then Katie turned to face her one-time nemesis. But instead of causing a scene that would have been uncomfortable for everyone, she started to recite a speech that she had prepared for her groom’s ex. The bride began, “First, I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life.”
Katie continued, “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach and love him every single day. I promise to respect, work, listen and communicate together as co-parents. I will love you guys no matter what comes our way. We are one family, always.”
It seems as if 24-year-old Katie had grown up a lot in four years. Indeed, it appears that she came to realize that Landon not only had both biological parents in his life, but he also had two stepparents who wanted what was best for him, too. They were all in this together, in fact.
And after addressing Casey and Tyler at the ceremony, Katie then turned to her stepson. To him, she said, “Landon, I love you more than you will ever know. I’ve had the privilege of knowing you since the beginning. I’ve loved watching you grow and I will for the rest of my life. I’m so happy that I now officially get to be your bonus mommy.”
Katie continued to Landon, “I promise to protect you, hold you when you need it, and clean all the boo-boos you ever get. And I promise to stand by you, listen to you and love you every day. I promise to love daddy with all my heart, I promise to be a best friend to mommy and your daddy Tyler.”
Katie concluded by saying, “We will be one big family that I promise you will have for the rest of your life. I love you so much.” And on Facebook, the bride would explain her heartwarming surprise by writing that she “wasn’t just going into a marriage with Jeremy and [so only] needed his trust and respect.” She felt, in fact, that she “needed Casey and Tyler’s [trust and respect], too.”
So Katie didn’t intend to let her big day pass without letting Casey know just how important she was. The bride gifted her a sunflower bracelet similar to those given to her bridesmaids, for example. And when the couple handed roses to their own mothers as part of their wedding ceremony, Landon also got to pass on a flower to his mom.
So what became of the feuding dads? Well, sometime before the wedding, Jeremy had got in touch with Tyler. And that move stunned Jeremy’s bride-to-be, not least because the groom seemed to be trying to mend his fractious relationship with Landon’s stepfather.
Katie explained the message on Facebook, saying, “In short, Jeremy thanked [Tyler] for raising Landon and being the dad he wasn’t. He told him that he wasn’t his only daddy, but they both were. And then [he] asked Tyler to go out for a drink. Tyler respected his message, but they never went for that drink.”
However, when Katie and Jeremy’s wedding day was drawing to a close, and Jeremy and Tyler were bidding each other farewell, Landon’s stepdad suddenly spoke up. Specifically, he said to the man he had once shunned, “After all of this is over, let’s go get that drink.” It was a poignant moment for Jeremy, and one he realized would never have happened without the resilience of his wife and the mother of his child.
On Facebook, Katie also had words of advice for those who want to follow in her co-parenting lead. She explained, “It takes true understanding and support from the ones who love you… But it’s possible to get along, communicate and give the same rules/love/respect on both sides for your child. Go against the norm. Be that change.”