stepfather of the year

Let me just brag on Jon for a moment.

Imagine you are an adult guy who happens to be the youngest child in your family. You have never babysat. You have no cousins younger than you are. You are a childless bachelor, living in a cool, artsy apartment Downtown. You enjoy rather quiet pursuits, and are pretty organized in the way you like to live. You have a cat, but this is the first animal you have ever lived with. You like kids, but you really don't know much about them. You do not know how to cook anything beyond chicken wings, ramen and pizza.

Now imagine you are suddenly thrust into a situation where you are living in a big, old house with a 3rd grader, a 6th grader and a 9th grader. Their mother is your new wife. The children are loud. They are messy. They have wildly busy schedules, and many young friends tramping in and out of the house. They have pets. Many pets. They need help with homework and school projects. The 3rd grader decides you are his favorite person and spends much of his time following you around the house and yard, asking you more questions than you imagined existed. The 9th grader plays loud electric guitar. Your wife has a very demanding full time job and she's pregnant, so she works a lot and sleeps more than you get to when she isn't working, leaving you to often fix meals, find broken toys, mediate disagreements, and generally run the household when she is not available.

Would you adjust and rise to the occasion? Or would you have a nervous breakdown and run screaming from the house?

Jon has done the former. I cannot even IMAGINE all that he's had to adjust to since we all moved in together. Yet, he is always patient, always kind, always an excellent role model to the children. He inspires me to be a better mother. He parents in the fullest sense of the world, but always with the utmost respect for the fact that he is not their father. He has - without any direction - figured out that coming into a 15 year old boy's life is quite different than coming into an 8 year old boy's life, and he interacts each of the children very sensitively.

Plus, because I am pregnant and not feeling my best lately, he takes really good care of me. He encourages me to sleep more and take warm baths. he rubs my feet. He goes to the store to buy me the Taco Bell burritos, out of season watermelon, and Perrier water I crave.

He's just....amazing. I pinch myself every day. I cannot believe my good luck. Not only did I manage to have this amazing man fall in love with ME, my children now have this amazing man in their lives...forever.


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