This week, Teen Mom OG fans saw Amber and Gary’s daughter Leah share a touching moment with her stepmom Kristina after Leah got real about her mom’s absence in her life.
Even though Leah Shirley is only 12 years old, she’s wise enough to have an opinion about her mom, Amber Portwood. During this week’s episode, Amber’s ex Gary was seen asking Leah what she wanted for her birthday.
Leah said she wanted a typical preteen birthday celebration, complete with lunch, shopping, and getting her nails done. Leah stated who she wanted to invite: her dad Gary, her stepmom Kristina, her little sister Emilee, and her grandma Tonya (who is Amber’s mom).
Leah’s ideal party didn’t include inviting her mom, Amber
When Gary asked if she wanted to include her mom in the plans, Leah grimaced and said “No.” While Gary told Leah that it’s important she spends time with her mom, Leah’s facial expressions said everything.
Leah reinforced, “I don’t want to, though.”
When Gary asked Leah if something had happened to make her not want to include Amber, Leah said, “We don’t really have, like, a bond like that. 12 years, and she hasn’t really done anything. That’s kinda been like Kristina’s spot.”
Kristina added, “I’m just the bonus mom, though.”
Gary made sure to tell Leah that it was important she doesn’t “write off” her mom and added, “At some point, you should be able to have a relationship with her.”
Leah got candid and made bold statements about her mother’s absence in her life
Leah made a bold statement when she told her dad, “All she did was give birth to me and she kind of left me as the third wheel,” seemingly alluding to the fact that Amber has continually brought men in and out of her life.
Gary tried to keep things fair, reinforcing that if Leah continues to block her mom from her life, she’ll never experience what could be in their relationship.
After Gary told Leah that Amber was “important,” she reluctantly told her dad that Amber could come to the family party after all, so Gary texted Amber to invite her.
Later in the episode, Leah was let down once again on her actual birthday when Amber declined her invitation to the small get-together, claiming she’d feel “a bit uneasy.”
Amber claimed that the best way to rekindle her relationship with Leah is one-on-one time, despite Leah being uncomfortable with that.
Leah and Kristina shared a special moment opening gifts
Leah’s party carried on without Amber and she opened gifts with Gary, Kristina, sister Emilee and Grandma Tonya. During an emotional scene, Kristina gave Leah a special gift.
Kristina got teary-eyed as she explained the meaning of the gift to Leah.
She said, “I did not give you life, but life gave me you.”
Kristina got even more choked up when she told Leah that she never knew she could love someone else’s daughter as much as she loves her.
Leah opened the gift to find a ring with her birthstone in it. The two shared a hug and told each other, “I love you” in the tender moment.
The family moved the party outside, where they hired a hibachi chef to cook for them in the backyard.
Although Amber and Leah’s relationship continues to struggle, Leah has Gary and Kristina to lean on
Amber and Leah’s strained relationship is neither surprising nor new. Viewers have watched Amber repeatedly bring new men into her life while she could have been using that time to focus on being a good mom to Leah.
Amber has also battled addiction and mental illness, leading to arrests for violence. Viewers have even recently called for Amber to be fired from the show.
In the meantime, Leah is lucky to have stability and voices of reason in Gary and Kristina.
Teen Mom OG airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on MTV.