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To All The Stepdads Who Stepped Up

Photograph by Twenty20

This Father’s Day I want to honor all of the stepdads out there who go above and beyond, who love their stepchildren unconditionally. Stepfathers like my dad, who totally changed the course of my life.

Thank you for loving me. Awesome stepdads do more than marry a woman with kids, they fall in love with her children right along side falling in love with her. They form a bond with those kids even though they never got to hold them as babies or watch them take their first steps. Thank you for letting me be your first “baby” at the ripe old age of ten.

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It takes so much more to be a father than getting someone pregnant. Unlike my biological father who simply couldn’t parent, what with all the booze and the yelling, you brought me up. You created a safe home for my family where we could all heal and grow. You taught me right from wrong and how to throw a ball, although admittedly I was never very good at the latter. You coached teams and attended performances. You helped with homework and got me to school. Thank you for being more than a father figure, thank you for being my father.

You showed me a how a loving family works and just how women are supposed to be treated.

Thank you for becoming my rock. Thank you of being someone I quickly learned I could always depend on. You were, and still are, the person I can go to when I need reassurance. You are amazing under pressure and in a crisis and help me feel as though I can get through anything. Without you in my life I feel I would have come unmoored. You gave me the gift of stability. You provided a solid life, one where I could confidently stand on my own two feet.

Thank you for loving my little handful of a sister just as much as you love me. Thank you for giving her this joy and stability too. Thank you for never making either one of us feel less than the baby you and Mom had together. Thank you for teaching me that family has little to do with blood and everything to do with love.

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Thank you for making Mom so happy and teaching me what to look for in a man. You showed me a how a loving family works and just how women are supposed to be treated. You taught me to find a partner who respected me and loved me for who I am. You helped me to find a man who could be a father in your sense of the word.

And now I get to take all this a step further and thank you for being the most amazing grandfather to my two boys. It has been such a pleasure watching your bond with them grow and grow. They rightfully adore you, even though they have no idea just how much you did for their mom. You are one of their favorite people, even if they can’t fully grasp that the guy they call Pa is a real-life superhero.

I love you so much, Dad. Thank you.

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