Today is Fathers Day…..a day to celebrate Dads!!
My husband is not the biological father of my four kids, but in every other way, he is their Dad and has been for the last 11 years.
In July of 2000 I packed up all of our personal belongings (what could be shipped in boxes, I sold or gave away most of our furniture), packed up my kids who were 15, 12, 8 and 5 at the time, said teary good byes to my parents, boarded a plane with crying kids, and flew to Ontario to start a new life with the man who is today my husband and their dad.
My husband took on the responsibility of being a Dad to my kids right away, even though he had no personal experience being one, as he had no children of his own, and his dad had passed away when he was only 8 years old.
Becoming a new dad for the first time generally involves fathering an infant and maybe in the case of multiple births…..more than one infant at a time, which I am sure is difficult and tiring. But becoming the dad of four mostly grown children who have left behind everything and everyone that they have ever known is a challenge in itself.
My kids accepted their new dad’s authority right away…..I like to take a little credit for that in teaching them to accept the authority of others…..
The kids never called Chris “Dad”, they always did and still do call him by his name when they are speaking to him, however it was always fun to hear them speaking with their friends on the phone or in person and refer to him as their dad. The first time we heard one of them say it was quite heart warming, Ryan told his friend on the phone that his dad could drop him off at his friends place. One of the first moments we knew they had accepted him as their dad.
My husband thought it was important that the kids continue playing sports, so Ryan was registered for hockey and baseball, Shana for soccer, Nick for hockey, baseball and soccer, Erika for baseball, soccer, track, cross-country and hockey for as long as they wanted to play. With 4 kids in different sports all at the same time, some days were tough trying to figure out how to get each child to the field or arena they needed to be at, especially when they all needed to be somewhere different all at the same time. My husband always figured out a way to get it done and managed to see a bit of everyone’s game when possible. He has always been the ultimate “cheerer” for his kids no matter what sport it was, whether they were playing house league or travel sports, and he has always taken great pride in their accomplishments.
My husband was always and still is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the kids get their homework done, even if they aren’t as caring about it as he is…..late night trips to the store to get the bristol board, for a project…..running out to buy ink for the printer when something just had to be printed off for the next day, spending hours on the phone with teachers trying to come up with ways to help when they were having problems. These situations generally came with a lecture for each of them on the importance of being responsible and planning ahead, which more than likely fell on deaf ears most of the time….but he has taken his parenting responsibilities seriously and loves these children as his own.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been clashes over the years, like there are in most families where you actually parent your kids, but over the past 11 years there have been some great family times, mixed with tears, hugs and kisses. The kids may not even realize it yet but they couldn’t have been loved more by any other Dad.
Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful husband and the DAD to our 4 kids!!