When a family argument erupted over their beloved parrot, the relationship between stepmom and stepdaughter seemed doomed. But what happened next surprised everyone involved and resulted in a powerful connection between the two that no one saw coming.
Here’s a story that bird enthusiasts might find heartwarming. A woman recently posted an account on the Reddit community Am I The A**hole, or AITA, about an argument involving her pet rescue macaw that has now brought her and her stepdaughter closer together.
The original poster, OP, explains that she has had her macaw for three years. After being locked in a tiny cage for fifteen years, the bird was rescued from an abusive household. Unsurprisingly, she’s somewhat neurotic—she distrusts everyone but OP, who says she is “very reliant on her routine.”
Stress plucks at her feathers if she can’t spend quality time with OP for longer than two days. OP hasn’t been on any vacations or trips away from home in three years because she was concerned about this, something that she says she is perfectly willing to do but does get in the way of things sometimes, such as going to her stepdaughter’s wedding.
When OP met her husband, he already had children, the youngest being his daughter, who was sixteen then. OP and her husband got married when the stepdaughter moved away for college and now lives in a different state from OP and her husband.
OP says she thought their relationship was “decent,” which sounds like they barely know each other. How many close relationships do you have that you’d describe as merely “decent”?
The stepdaughter is getting married in March with dreams of a big traditional white wedding. She is naturally very stressed with planning, especially with a two-year-old kid to look after simultaneously.
Recently, she asked OP to visit her for a week to support her with her wedding plans and spend time with her granddaughter. Unfortunately, OP said no due to the parrot issue, and things spiraled.
OP’s stepdaughter got very upset. It seems there had been a lot she had been keeping bottled up. It just took the parrot problem for it all to burst out: she said that she had never got a mother figure, that OP had never accepted her as her daughter, and that being snubbed in favor of a pet bird was proof. She accused OP of being emotionless.
OP was hurt by all this and said she could tell that her husband agreed with the stepdaughter even though he wasn’t officially taking sides in the conflict. Despite that, OP initially responded that she didn’t see why she should be obligated to take time off work, leave home for a week, and “bond,” mainly as she and her stepdaughter had barely talked before.
In addition, the stepdaughter hadn’t visited the family home in four years. The stepdaughter had been bitter about not being close with OP for a while. When she reached out during a stressful time, OP completely shut her down and cited a bird as an excuse.
In a comment on the post, OP claims that her stepdaughter has never previously shown interest in a relationship with her, rejecting attempts to bond during her college years and ignoring emails and calls. How much is accurate, and how much is an exaggeration?
Considering that when they first met, the stepdaughter was a late teenager, hardly a time when processing your emotions is easy. It wouldn’t be surprising if communication were problematic then. College is already a hectic and socially heavy time, even without adding in a step-parent who you barely know.
On the other hand, from OP’s perspective, she’d just been asked to take time away from her own life for a week with little notice by a stepdaughter who hadn’t previously been interested in her. So it’s a nuanced situation, and luckily OP seems to have recognized that in an update to the post.
The post received a mixed reaction from the Reddit community. Some accused OP of prioritizing a silly bird over her stepdaughter, and others applauded her for her excellent animal care. On the other hand, many encouraged OP to reach out again to at least talk—which she now has.
They’ve had a long discussion where OP’s stepdaughter stated regret over not reaching out in the past, now wanting a closer relationship. While OP doesn’t consider herself able to travel, she will be helping with wedding planning virtually and has invited her stepdaughter to stay at the family home after the wedding.
At the end of her update, she thanks the Reddit community for motivating her to reach out again.