When I met Will for the first time I was really nervous. Not just ‘first date nerves’ but nervous because when you’re a single parent, there is a lot to think about before you start a relationship. As time went on it proved really difficult to be able to spend any time with Will as I didn’t want to introduce him to Josh too quickly, and the only time I could see him was when Josh went to bed and as I worked such awful early AM hours we didn’t have that long to get to know each other.
It takes a lot for a man to stick around to want to meet a child that will never biologically be his and be ok with that. It takes a lot of maturity to want to be in a little boys life and want to raise him like he is his own child. I knew when I met Will that he would be such an amazing role model for Josh to look up to. He had worked so hard to be where he was in such a short time and always strives to be the best. I plucked up the courage to bring the meeting up and Will was excited to meet him for the first time. From the moment they met they hit it off straight away, Josh was playing in his car and we headed off to toys r us and Mcdonalds and from that moment the rest is history.
So this is a thank you because I don’t say it often. I find it much easier to type away how I feel;
Thank you for
Always being there for him no matter what, it amazes me the love you have for him and I am so happy to be a part of that. Never treating either of the boys any differently to me you treat them the exact same and love them unconditionally. From the moment Freddie was born I have not once seen you treat him any differently just because he is biologically yours. Always playing games and running riot around with him after a long shift in work. I know how hard it is for you, finishing a night shift at 7am and being bounced on the moment you walk through the door. ‘Lets play swords Will’ you chuck your bag on the floor and grab a sword without hesitation. He will remember that. Never being afraid to discipline him and teach him what is right and what is wrong. He can be a little terror as can all children and you know exactly how to deal with it and what to say. You have taken to the role of daddy so quickly and for that I am so proud of you.Always praising his biological dad to him and always talking about his dad with him. There are days when me and his dad just don’t click, we don’t agree (which is bound to happen but it has got so much better recently which is nice) and you know that but you will always praise his dad to him. You will always get him to talk about what he did at his dads and where he has been, and tell him how lucky he is that he has so much family around him that love him. Always working hard to provide for us, you are such a hard worker you work all the hours under the sun to keep us looked after and provided for and we are truly happy. Taking us on plenty of day trips to explore the world and be outdoors with the boys. There is nothing I love more than sitting on a beach and chucking pebbles in to the sea with you and the boys being a family is the most precious thing life could give anyone and we have the most perfect one.
Giving up a honey moon period and going straight in to parent mode. You have always said we never had a honey moon period and you are right. We never got to date, never went to the cinema/out for drinks. We went to zoos and farms, parks and play centres but I wouldn’t have it any other way. From the moment you met Josh you treated him like he was your child. It takes a strong man to accept someone else’s child and you are the strongest man I know. To me a step parent is much more than being a parent as they made the choice to love a child when they didn’t have to. You could of just walked away when he was having a major meltdown on the floor of Sainsburys, we had known each other a few weeks most guys probably would of wandered off, but not you. You helped to calm him, made him laugh again and acted completely normal and didn’t take any notice of the people watching us.
It must be so hard for you sometimes, when I make a decision that you don’t agree with and I thank you for wanting to stick around when things got difficult. You really do amaze me no matter how much we bicker just know I am so proud of you and the choice you made to raise my son as he was yours. When people tell me he is a credit to me, they are wrong he is a credit to us. You are very much the reason he is the way he is and you should be proud of that. All of your friends they still play hockey every week/weekend go out drinking, socialising and you’ve given up your old lifestyle to be a part of my family. When you do have the time to play roller/ice hockey when you’re not working and Josh gets to watch you he is so amazed, and I love that you show him that being good at a sport is something he should want to achieve. You have given us so much love, you completed me and made me parent better than I ever thought I could. You saved me and my boy and have now given me another beautiful baby. We wouldn’t be where we are if it wasn’t for you, two beautiful boys what more could we want?
So to all you step dads out there, Thank you thank you for giving up everything to be a part of a family that you didn’t necessarily ask to be in. Thank you for choosing out of the kindness of your hearts to be a dad, to change nappies and to deal with the hard jobs that parenting can bring and not just ride with the good times. For you we are so grateful as we didn’t realise how much we needed you and cherished being part of a parenting team. You are all truly amazing and when these kids grow up they too will see that. You will have such a special bond and a love that will always grow stronger.
One day they may scream at you ‘but you’re not my dad’ but just know they will never mean that. Also to the dads who have taken on complete role of being a dad and stepping up to the plate that another man did not do, you really are incredible.
Fatherhood requires love not DNA.