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June 18, 2015

Stepdads: Modern Day Superheros.

Flickr/Kelly Sikkema: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95072945@N05/12779343884/in/photolist-ktgtHf-gVc3aB-47doMj-eaVyv6-rmArRs-aCHxAV-6yswjc-6Kr2ve-4wAUcp-k9S8Rz-72b66a-6NbwCr-6yj1qb-5qwFsv-6ygMv9-5h1jLD-iirP8z-ncYLz2-67tyPf-frVcyu-vWViM-bc9njV-8c66VZ-cfxiLm-aTc9Tg-9Y6Z5z-5BuLqj-cv8fbm-9s7YV8-5a6gEa-652UCB-86RF5-ouhrT-9EHaUY-dxGwon-cfXi2N-8SQn8x-h7pdCj-oDHG1r-5G7uZh-n9rwfr-qw1iFL-61mAav-4Jtigc-9saXAA-9saXyu-5Gn9AU-aF8s8G-cys6i-7Kep5W

“It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers.” ~ Joann Schiller

This is for the men who choose to love children that aren’t biologically their own.

This is for the men who fell so in love with a woman that they fell in love with her children too. This is for the men that understand that children aren’t baggage, but just part of the overall package.

I think stepdads are the modern day superhero. They are the men that are often overlooked because they aren’t “the real dads,” but in many ways they are even more amazing!

I was raised by a single mom for 12 years, and when my stepdad came into our lives, it was a difficult adjustment at first. I was a semi wretched pre-teen, and I took joy in challenging everyone in my life—including him. The really amazing thing is that no matter how rebellious I was—he loved me anyway.

He was the first man in my life that taught me that I can be loved unconditionally.

I will never forget how he lit up my mother’s eyes when they first started seeing one another. For the first time in my life I would fall sleep hearing the hushed loving conversations of a man and woman.

It was an odd feeling to have a man around the house for the first time in my life—the smell of aftershave in the morning, seeing his beer in the fridge—but I loved it. I felt like I finally was part of a secret club that I’d known nothing about until then.

For a man to fall in love with a mother—he also has to fall in love with her children.

It’s not an instantaneous thing to become a stepdad—marrying a mom doesn’t automatically make that happen overnight. It starts slow, just as most wonderful things do. In the beginning when a man is first introduced to her children, he wonders if they will like him.

As time goes on he becomes friends with her children and realizes how much of the woman he loves is reflected in their eyes. Soon, he begins to think of doing things not just with her, but with them. Eventually, somewhere between bedtime stories and days on the beach, he realizes that he loves them as much as their mother—that is the moment a stepfather is born.

A stepdad is a man that isn’t there each morning because he has to be, or because he should be, but he’s there because he wants to be.

He’s a man who chooses not only to have this woman by his side, but to have her children there as well. Stepdads are confident men because they understand that it’s okay to make up the rules as they go along, and they have no desire to live purely by the conventional ones society has put in place. He loves the woman he is with because of who she is, and if any part of her journey had been different then so would she.

He knows that not every day is going to be easy, but he still chooses her.

Stepdads have the best of both worlds. They hold the heart of a woman they can’t image their lives without, and they hold the hands of the children that are part of her. They are men that are comfortable in their skin and in finding their own way in this life that is paved with originality and individuality.

These are the men with roots and wings.

I have had the privilege of having my stepdad in my life for 20 years. The love I have for him doesn’t consider him to be a “stepparent,” and it doesn’t acknowledge that he missed the first twelve years of my life.

This is the man whom my daughters call Grampy—who takes them for bike rides and ice cream. This is the man who comes to my home on Sunday’s to help me with projects around the house, because now I am that single mother.

My stepdad taught me a lot—not only about how to refinish furniture, but how much a man can truly love children that he didn’t help bring into this world.

I am his daughter, in every sense of the word, and he is my dad—not because of biology, but because of love.

Because sometimes love really is all there is.

 

Relephant Read:

A Dad is There Through it All. 

Author: Kate Rose 

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Image: Flickr/Kelly Sikkema

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