“I DONT HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU! YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!”
I have heard this a few times in my short tenure as a stepfather. It’s the statement that has stuck with me the most since this journey began. It has affected my judgement, my mood, and my decision making abilities in dealing with the children.
I try to be a positive influence in my stepsons life.
I try to guide him with my experience from growing up.
I try to live up to what I think a stepfather should be.
Sometimes I fall short.
But I keep trying.
I don’t have the experience of raising a child from birth. It wasn’t in the cards for me. There is no “Stepfathering for Dummies” manual on what to do and what not to do. So I do what I do best.
A kind of running with scissors approach.
Trial and error and error and error. Figure it out as I go along. Just when I think I know the answers, I forget the questions.
Back to square one.
But every once in a while there is a breakthrough.
A moment in time where my conscience is at ease. Confirmation that my GPS (good parenting system) is functioning correctly.
Today was one of those times.
July is spend the month with the real Dad time.
He texts and calls his Mom on a regular basis during this time and I get a tell stepdad Hi. I’m used to it.
It was strange to me when I got a text from him at work today. Random what are you doing text but still weird. He doesn’t text me.
Then it happened.
The next text was asking advice about a girl he was seeing and why girls need space.
Instead of using my lightning mental reflexes that would have texted back and said ” girls don’t need space, they need to be IN space “, I paused.
All I texted back was ” girls are weird like that ”
At 9:30 this evening, he called me.
He asked what I thought he should do.
I gave him advice.
He said “Thank you for listening to me.”
It’s the little things that make all the hardships worthwhile.
I may not be his Dad.
But I am the one he is coming to for advice on matters of the heart.
And that makes this old heart feel pretty good.