My husband, Randy, and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage this week. My youngest daughter, Jodi, (pictured above) was 2 1/2 years old when we married. I had no idea what an influence my husband would be with Jodi.
Jodi bonded easily with Randy from the beginning. She wanted to call him “Dad” at an early age, but my ex-husband forbade it. So, she called him by his first name until she got old enough that she didn’t care what her dad thought. Then, she began to call him Dad.
Jodi’s biological dad floated in and out of her life because of poor choices with addiction. There were many months that we didn’t know where her dad lived or even if he was still alive. But every step of the way,
Randy was there for her.
Randy will readily admit that he hasn’t been a perfect stepparent. As we blended our four children, we experienced emotional melt-downs and parenting collisions. We faced ex-spouse pressures and co-parenting conflicts. But Randy stayed the course, through the good and bad.
During Jodi’s elementary years, Randy taught her to ride a bike, helped with homework, and carpooled her to sleepovers and birthday parties. During middle school, Randy was Jodi’s biggest cheerleader as she tried out for the track team – running with her during her training season, and attending every meet he could. And through her high school years, Randy has stayed close by her side – counseling her through boyfriend dilemmas, challenging maturity in her faith, and encouraging wise choices in her every day walk.
So, it was only natural when Jodi was selected for Homecoming Court as a high school senior, that she asked Randy to escort her on the football field. It was a proud moment for him this past Friday night to walk arm in arm as her dad, a reward for many years of faithful stepparenting.
The stepparenting journey takes a different route for each of us. Some get to play more active roles than others. But we can each have a positive impact on our stepchildren if we commit to the journey, persevering through the challenges, celebrating the victories, and cherishing the relationships that are developed along the way.
Have you affirmed yourself lately for the important role you play as a stepparent?