Tori Spelling is a mother of five and stepmother of one — and it was that latter one she focused on in a sweet message she shared on Instagram.
Jack McDermott, the son of her husband, Dean McDermott, and his ex-wife, Mary Jo Eustace, turned 21 this week, and in honor of his birthday, Spelling opened up about the special bond they've shared and revealed what eventually brought them even closer together.
On Sunday, the "BH90210" star posted a rare pic of her and Jack perfectly posed side by side, soaking up the sun.
"I’ve known this guy since he was almost 7," she wrote. "I loved when we met bc he had no idea who I was. And, I don’t mean tori spelling, but the woman his dad was dating. He was going thru so much and his mom and dad were trying their best to navigate a very difficult situation for a boy his age. Divorce."
But despite that then-pending divorce, he and Spelling found a way to connect.
"When we met we bonded over dogs, his rabbit DIY school project, tag, hide and seek, and video games," the actress recalled. "He called me Teri. And I didn’t correct him bc I loved that he had his own perception of me."
After Spelling married Jack's dad, their relationship deepened.
"This little boy grew," she continued. "And, I remember helping him with his homework and reading Charlottes Web, dressing up his hamsters in DIY Halloween costumes, and playing Polly Pockets at the pool while other boys his age teased and we ignored them and laughed and played and had so much fun they eventually asked to join."
But as he continued to grow individually and as part of their blended family, things changed between the stepson and stepmother. Like many teens, Jack retreated into his own world. Spelling called that time the "years of awkwardness."
"He was quiet. I was quiet," she wrote. "It was new to me and I never wanted to push my role in his life. I’ve loved him since he was that little boy that called me Teri and played Polly Pockets with me."
Then something happened that changed the awkwardness between them. When Jack turned 17, he came out as gay — and he came out of his shell again.
"I was so proud of his confidence," the 46-year-old explained. "He was who he was and he was proud of it. And, then we bonded again. We found each other on a new level with a whole new respect for each other."
Now, with their renewed closeness well established, Spelling raved that she's "so proud of the amazing human he is" — so amazing that she considers him a true inspiration.
"He is so smart, kind, funny, unique, sweet, confident, and driven," she wrote Jack. "His scream, smile, and laugh are contagious and his style is fierce. He makes no apologies for who he is. And who he uniquely is ... Is Jack Montgomery McDermott. Someone who is an inspiration. Someone who has overcome many challenges thru out his young life and comes out on top no matter what. You are a fighter and a beautiful human."
And he is obviously — like all of her children — very loved.