Monday, January 05, 2009

#1 Step-Grandpa

When my mom got married last summer, everyone followed up the inevitable "Well, do you like the guy?" with "Do you consider him your stepfather?"

Yes and no, in case you're wondering. Rick's an amazing guy. He treats my mother like gold, which is really all I require of him, but he's also personable, caring and loves to laugh. But my stepfather? I'm in my thirties, thanks. I'm not in the market for a father figure.

But for the past few days I've watched the man-who-isn't-Dad gracefully step in to a grandfather role my own dad never got to play. During our stay with my mom and Rick, the girls really bonded with the man their Nanny married. He cheerfully carried them around, read books, played with toys and told elaborate bedtime stories. The girls couldn't get enough of him. Every time A saw him, she's raise her arms and cry "Up!" Z pestered him nonstop, begging him to let her crawl on his lap, help him care for his fish tank, play ping-pong and read yet more stories. Never once did he seem to tire of their antics or reveal the slightest annoyance as my two rugrats scattered toys across the living room floor, spilled food in the kitchen and generally made a racket wherever they went.

I was fond of Rick before, but through my children he's found a permanent place in my heart. He might never be my stepfather, but he'll be my kids' maternal grandfather for life.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't give a shout-out to my stepsisters--though I'm loathe to call them that since we never had to fight over the bathroom or the car. Ella and Emily are now Aunts Ella and Emily. Welcome to the family.