With Father’s Day coming Sunday (don’t forget to buy bacon for breakfast), I would like to take this time to recognize the unsung heroes of fatherhood. The Mike Brady prototype. The stepdad.
I got myself a brand-spankin’-new stepdad when I was 19 years old. My mom married Glenn just as I was taking my first steps into adulthood, so you might think his influence would be negligible, relegated to Sunday afternoon visits and major holidays. It wasn’t.
In fact, over the past 28 years, he has become one of the most important influences in my life. He took an active role – talking to the mechanics when my car broke down, guiding me through major changes in my life, dancing with me at my wedding and, most gratefully, being a fantastic grandfather to my kids.
My sister-in-law and I call my mom and Glenn the “Dynamic Duo” because of their uncanny ability to overlook even the most blatant flaws in their grandkids, their endless pool of energy and their knack for knowing exactly when to hand their sugared-up grandkids back to their parents.
If you have stellar grandparents, you know what a blessing they are, and my mom and Glenn are a blessing. To our kids, there is no “step” granddad; he’s just “Gramps.” And for that, I will be forever grateful for my stepdad.
To all of you stepdads out there, keep fighting the good fight: blowing noses, showing up at baseball games and talking to the mechanic for your stepkids. Maybe the rewards aren’t coming to you today or tomorrow or even when your kids are young, but I’m a prime example of the good and important influence you can have: my life made better, richer, fuller because of the love of my stepdad.