Friday, September 12, 2014

My Strong Man

Joe was tagged by his friend to this picture. It sums up who he has become for us. A little over a year ago, I was doing this parenting thing alone. I said to friends, "who would want to date a girl with two special needs kids?"

Well, Jenny and Chelsea found this guy. And he kept coming over to my house, and eating all my chicken fries. In the kids' minds he went from "that's just Joe" to "he's not my real dad, but we're his kids". Hayden came home from school with a drawing of his family-- Rylie, Hayden, Mommy and Joe.  Rylie says "when I grow up to be a Mommy, I can have coffee. And when Hayden grows up to be a Joe, he can have coffee, too."

Now if I arrive home late from work, dinner is made (3 different dinners for different diets), vitamins are eaten, homework is done, and clothes laid out for tomorrow. The kids may have even played outside and had a bath.

They now have a strong role model who sets limits but also takes time for each of them. I have-- not just help-- not just more free time-- but a partner. A person who thinks through problems with me and actually helps to fix them. A person who truly cares about his new family. Someone to tell me, it's all going to be ok.

I've never really had that before and so I'm more than grateful for it. But I haven't written about it, because... well, what do you say?  How do you thank someone for coming into your life and making the whole thing better? Not just for me but for my children, who sometimes struggle. To make them happy makes me happy.

So, when I saw the picture below I felt I should say something.

Thank you, Joseph, for taking on your new role. And for being quite good at it. We love you very much. A stranger, upon hearing our story, said, "Wow, only a teacher could do that."

No, I think only Joe could do that.

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