i comb through quite a few parenting blogs throughout the week and i have to say, there are some truly talented writers out there discussing the day to day we all go through as parents. these blogs make the commiserating process a hell of a lot easier. although i'm sure my parents would say something like "we used to actually have friends we knew and could see and talk to and blah, blah, blah". and they're probably right, again... as per usual. but that doesn't change how things work today. so, i have "friends" and i may not know what they look like (in person) and i may not even know where they live and i certainly don't know what their banana-nut bread taste like. then again how much of that matters when all i want is to find someone who's talking about how their kid also screams no and slap them in the face too.

that's not to say i don't have friends i see on a regular basis, because i do. lots of them for that matter. and we do cry together about how hard things get and how much we love these little rascals regardless of how big a turd they can be. and yeah some them do cook and the shit is damn good. my point being, the internet has opened this whole other world that helps the understanding process when it comes to the challenges of parenting. the problems may not get fixed but there's comfort in knowing that someone in chubbuck, idaho didn't sleep last night either.

which brings me to my real point. i ran across this posting about the loss of a step-parent. I have always associated the term step-parent as one who "steps-in" when the biological parent cannot or chooses not to be a part of a child's life. for the most part this statement (technically) is correct but everyone knows there's more to it than that.

i grew up with step-parents. in fact i had two step-dads from age 2-28. not at the same time but two during those ages. it all changed when i turned 29. my step-dad, who had been in my life since i was 10 came to me and asked if i would allow him to adopt me. i remember thinking, i'm nearly 30 years old and if this man still wants to claim me as his son after all the shit-fire i put him through then i would love to be his son.

we had a nice adoption ceremony on valentines day 2005 and a great party for friends and family and then my wife and i changed our last name. an overall very cool process. and i have to say as much as i didn't think it would change much, it did. i knew that i could always rely on him as a parent but as a step-child with an absent biological parent there was always this void. once i became adopted the void was filled, much to my suprise. there's been this feeling of completeness. i'm not trying to be mushy and induce tears but it's ture.

so when i read the post about how this woman lost her step-dad it really hit home. step parents are not just stand-ins. they are life's soldiers serving as the stable element a child needs to feel their way through the day. i can't imagine what my life would be with out my father (step-dad) in it.