I have a 9 year old stepson that I have essentially played Mom to since he was about a year old. His mother left early and stayed gone for some time, and now that she is back, she really doesn't see him unless courts mandated. Needless to say, they aren't close. My husband and I don't have the same last name, but him, my stepson and our daughter have the same name. At the doctors office one day, a new receptionist commented on that very fact. She proceeded to ask if I was his mother. I started to answer, but my son stepped in and said I was. She kept pressing the issue, seeming flabbergasted that we would have different names. So after I told her that I was in fact his stepmother, she wanted to know why I was bringing him to the doctor. I have never had any problems taking him to the doctor and most of the receptionists and other staff know us. So my son, who at this point was very sick and frustrated and just wanted to be done with the whole thing, launches into the whole story of the separation and years that followed. Everything, the way she left, the years she was gone, how often he sees her now, what they do on their time together. Then proceeds to explain that I am his mother in the way I take care of him, that he sees me as mom and that if its ok with her, he just wants to see the doctor. I didn't even think he knew any of the real story regarding their separation and her absent years and everything. I was just floored. I started to apologize, but didn't really know what to say.