Stepping Up

Today, the spotlight is on the people we call Dad. Father. Pops. Papa. Daddy. Regardless of the term of endearment we use, it’s a day devoted to them. This evening, I will celebrate Father’s Day with my Dad and give him much deserved props, so, for now, I will turn my attention to someone else.

He is not my father, nor is he the father of my daughters. He is a father, though, a wonderful one, at that, and he also is a great father-in-law. In less than a year, he will take on yet another role. Step-father. Bonus Dad. Or some other woefully lacking term. While I dislike the names associated with this role, I love the man who is taking on this role and want to celebrate him on this special day.

When we began dating, one of the many qualities that immediately attracted me to John was his love for his five amazing children. He will be the first to say that he is not a perfect parent, but I would counter with the argument that he is the best father for his kids. And he will be the best step-father for my two daughters.

When you are our age, you no longer wonder what it would be like to start a family and have children together, but rather, you wonder what it would be like to join your respective children together in a reconfigured family unit. We did not simply embark on a relationship with one another, but we also did so with one another’s children. Unlike a parent-child relationship that unfolds and develops over many years, this is akin to parenting on steroids.

Watching John develop a relationship with each of my daughters has gone from the initial trepidation about whether or not they would all get along and like one another to the sheer joy of watching their relationship evolve into one that is uniquely their own. He never forced his way into the girls’ lives or tried to insert himself as a father figure, and he followed their cues about what they needed and wanted from him. He patiently took time to get to know each of them and found his own way of bonding with each one of them. Spinning classes. Inside jokes, usually about me. Trips for decadent desserts. Gourmet meals. Milestones, such graduation and moving into the college dorm. Talking, laughing, and texting.

Given that John is such a fantastic father for his kids, I shouldn’t be surprised that he is well on his way to being an equally fantastic step-father to my kids. I am not surprised, but I am extremely grateful and happy. He embodies characteristics, such as being loving, funny, smart, attentive, hardworking, honest, and thoughtful, that make him a welcome addition to our family.

It takes a really special person to step up as a step-parent and to embrace this role, and John definitely is that person. Happy Father’s Day to every father around the world, but especially to John, who means the absolute world to all of us!

That’s another story . . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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