It takes more than biology to make a parent. I firmly believe that. Life has proven that lesson to me. I also consider myself blessed to have been gifted with a strong, forward thinking mother who is a role model to me (regardless of what she thinks when I choose not to take her advice).
Those of you who’ve read my blog for a while know that I attribute my personal body image and positive sexuality messages from my mother and the wonderful message she sent throughout my childhood. So much of who I am came from the example she set. She taught me to be a strong, powerful woman. Even after she lost my brothers and her marriage to my bio-father, when she had every reason in the world to doubt and be negative, she held on to her faith and her sense of humor….and taught my sister and I the importance of standing on our own two feet.
She probably doesn’t realize I took her to heart when she told me, “Kitt, date lots and lots of boys. This way, when the right one comes along, you’ll recognize him. Don’t be so quick to rush into something before you’re ready. Enjoy life….and whatever you do, make sure you can support yourself so that whatever man you choose will know he’s there because you want him there, not because you’re afraid to be without him. There’s a huge difference. You’ll also know that no matter what, you’ll be okay.”
But I also knew my bio-dad did a lot of damage to her heart. I began to doubt whether she’d go out on a limb and share her life with another man again. And then she met my stepdad in 1989. Her first words to him on her date have become a source of laughter within the family….”I don’t believe in adultery, nor do I believe in fornicatious behavior.” (She’s okay with all sorts of wild, raunchy sex in and out of high heels once she’s married…but that’s her thing.) I should’ve known my stepdad was a keeper when he answered, “Lady, I just want to take you to dinner!”
When they got married on May 7, 1993 (yep, yesterday was their anniversary), I even paid for their wedding! Okay, so my stepdad forgot his check book and the courthouse didn’t take credit cards…and it only cost me $35. It still counts. 😉 And you know what? It was worth every penny. He’s a good man who’s been there for my sister and me in ways my bio-dad never was. He became the parent of our hearts. The one who walked my sister down the aisle. The one who did the father/daughter dance at our weddings. He was there for our concerts, our graduations. He’s helped when our cars have broken down, he’s fixed stuff when they’ve broken in our houses, he’s opened his house to host our bridal showers….and just been there when we’ve needed him.
He’s earned the Father’s Day cards….and we love him. And we truly appreciate the way he loves our mom. Happy Anniversary!