When I was in my late teens, my mother remarried. After many years without a dad, I suddenly had a father in my life. He helped to raise and mentor me, and I appreciate the things he taught me (he tried to teach me how to drive a stick shift, but that didn’t work out).
Although many kids are being raised by step fathers, they don’t always get the credit they deserve. My friend Chistopher Robbins, who runs a family-focused publishing company, wrote this beautiful Father’s Day tribute to his step father:
Father’s Day is fast approaching and I am one of those 40 million children who have a step father. It’s an odd experience when another man comes into your life. For me my step father came at the right time. He is a good man. A kind man. A loving man.
Raised along the Arizona strip he slept more nights under the stars than in his own bed. He didn’t have electricity until he turned 16. He fought in WWII and rarely talks about it even when I say “Is that your tent with the Betty Page photo?”
He used to work beside me, watching me do a job until I was almost finished. Then he’d say, “Do you want me to show you an easier way?” He thought a bit of discomfort and sweat would make me appreciate better ways.
He taught integrity and patience. More than any other principle he taught service. Service isn’t a convenient principle. It’s usually needed at inopportune times. So, when we were driving at five in the morning to go somewhere and help a widow or widower, I complained. Now I see what his life of service has brought–a man of peace and gratitude. I’m glad that he’s been there to teach me the same.
He’s old. His heart is weak. He’s not long for this earth. I’m so very fortunate to have a step father who cares and loves me. Thanks to all the fathers out there, both biological and step, who teach a new generation how to be good men and women.
Happy Father’s Day.
Join the conversation: Share your experiences as a step father or being raised by a step father.