Written by Staff Writer Jayme Hein
So many negatives flow into a person’s mind when they think of stepparents. We instantly think of the story of Cinderella. She loses her father and is left with her stepmother to live in the attic, complete all of the chores, and be her stepsister’s right hand man. My story however is a little different. Actually, a lot different.
When I was eight years old, my parents came to the conclusion that a divorce would be the healthiest option for our family. Some time passed and my mom introduced me to a man named Mike. I didn’t know he would be my stepfather in the near future.
When I met Mike he was wearing jeans, very dingy work boots, and an extra stiff leather jacket. I took a peek outside and saw a motorcycle in the parking lot. In the eyes of a little girl, that was almost as cool as “Hannah Montanna the Movie.” His hands were dirty and his voice deep, but his personality didn’t match his look. He was instantly the closest thing to a human teddy bear you could ever find. I remember going to bed that night, with my head resting on my pillow case and a soft smile on my face.
As a young girl, my mind was always all over the place. I couldn’t contain my energy and Mike was forced to deal with a very large majority of it, but it was impossible to scare him away from my family. Growing up, my favorite place was the park in our apartment complex and it soon became Mike’s favorite place too, as he constantly pushed me on the swings and chased me around the trees. There was never anything he couldn’t handle.
When I hit the age of 10, Mike and my mom were blessed with a beautiful wedding ceremony and I was blessed with an amazing addition to my family, as well as a house that would allow me to make so many memories. One that can never be forgotten is my first every Daddy Daughter Dance.
My biological dad is not the most social person. I love him to death, but he would never be caught wearing a suit in an elementary school gymnasium. Knowing that my dad would say no, I asked Mike. I knew that I would consider him my dad when he replied by saying to me, “I would love to go with you, but you need to ask your dad first.” And that’s just the thing, Mike never came into our family with the goal to take our father’s place, he simply just wanted to be there for me and treat me like his own through the good days and the bad days. To this day, he will do things to make sure that he isn’t overstepping and I will forever be so appreciative.
There isn’t a single second, where Mike doesn’t push me to be a better person. Whether it be by laughing with me, listening to me cry, or yelling at me for having the attitude that I get when I’m tired or hungry, he is there and I know that he always will be.
Explaining the way my family works to outsiders can get pretty difficult sometimes. It is just so hard for them to understand that with mature parents, having a broken family doesn’t mean that you actually have to feel the break. I was a cheerleader in high school, and all three of my parents did everything they could to make it to every game. I am so grateful that because of this, I got to experience the feeling of looking into the bleachers at my unconventional home, and see my parents talking to each other, laughing, and making fun of me of course. It breaks my heart that there are many kids out there that don’t get to feel the way that I do everyday.
Whenever I am with him, I want to look at Mike and say thank you, because he set the bar so high. I will be beyond blessed if I end up finding someone as half as good a man as Mike is, and I won’t be settling for anything less – Mike would never approve of that.