When I introduce my dad to people, we often get the comment, “Oh, I can see the resemblance.” Funny thing is, he’s my step-dad, but he deserves the title of “dad” in my book. He’s earned it.
My mother and Nick were married while I was in junior high school. From the get go, my brother and I felt like we were getting another dad and two more brothers. Nick became an important part of my life, but it wasn’t by accident on his part.
My senior year of high school, Mom and I had some tiff about something (maybe I wanted to go to a movie and she wanted me to study, who knows). She and Nick headed to town for a meeting and I was instructed to hang the laundry on the line. Well, I pouted and pouted as I slowly hung the family’s laundry. Poor me.
Later that day, their truck pulled into the driveway. Mom walked past me, saying “Nick needs your help unloading groceries.” The “groceries” consisted of only one thing—an entire dozen donuts (NOT something my mom would ever buy). The two of us sat in the sun, not talking about anything in particular, each of us eating six donuts.
Mom said she and Nick took a class before they married on “How to Make the Blended Family Work.” The instructor focused on the importance of children from divorced families feeling loved, saying the step-parent’s job was solely to show that love, as in best friend, confidante. Let the biological parent discipline.
I’m sure Nick and Mom sat many a night by the woodstove long after they’d tucked us in at night coming up with their parenting game plan together, but Nick always JUST loved me and Mom always JUST loved his boys.
In return, I proudly call him “Dad.”