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Two daughters of the step kind...

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I've been a step father, for lack of a better term, for around 10 years now. Honestly, I didn't plan on that when I started dating my wife and I'm not really sure why. Probably some insight to my level of emotional maturity at the time. To be fair, they didn't consider me a step father so it was an easy conclusion for me. In the beginning, I was just a guy that was hanging around and taking that part of my duty with a grain of salt. I'd have conversations with them and throw out some occasional advice but I didn't give it much thought. I was honest and shared my thoughts the same way I would with a friend. I swore not to try and be a father because they already had one of those. I was recently reminded of one occasion when the very young one tried to make an entree for my wife and I consisting of microwaved bread with cheese on it. My lovely wife choked it down and said it was delicious, I refused and said that it likely tastes horrible and she needs to try again. Toast it or something but this just isn't a good option. She was devastated at the time but learned quickly that she could trust this strange adult to tell her the truth, no matter the cost. Bonus...we never had to eat microwave cheese bread again.

As the years went by, I found myself growing more and more fond of these little beings and the "step father" role became more and more challenging. As the challenges grew, so did my feelings about step parenting and I decided one day that I would write a self help book for step dads. I had step parents when I was young so I knew it from both sides. The running theme of the book was going to be the following...

You will never be their father and they will never have the same bond with you as they do with the biological father. This was fact and couldn't be changed. That said, it is possible to develop a strong, healthy relationship that is beneficial to all parties involved.

As the years went by, my love for them grew and the "facts" about step parenting began to sadden me. I don't know what the love for a biological child is like but I had to imagine that it was similar to what I was feeling. The sad part was that they would never feel the same way because it just wasn't possible.

In the last year, I was thrown a bit of a curve ball when the theme of my book was totally debunked. This is already too long and, since I've likely lost both of you, going to end it without the details but, let it be known that my self help book now needs a complete overhaul. The love and affection that I have received from them has not only surprised me but has changed a world view that I've had for 40 years.

I'm so proud of these two creatures and just as proud to be called their step father. In addition, if either one of them happens to read this, please turn off the bathroom light and get your hands off my special mug.