Today is a day of celebration for both my fatherly figures.
My dear old Dad married my stepmother, By, umm... a number of years ago. Maybe as long ago as 15 years? I'm sure there's some special trinket or metal associated with the year, embossed stationary or tin perhaps. I'm not saying that 15 years is a small feat, I just think that assigning particular gifts to particular anniversaries is kind of stupid and outdated, especially considering all years that aren't given as much glory as gold and silver.
Anyway, it was a lovely wedding. I of course do not have pictures, but I assure you that the weather and the bride outdid each other's beauty many times over, and the groom's father and mother were even civil. What I personally loved included the following:
-By made an amazing carrot cake, sculpted it to look like a mountain slope, frosted it with thick white fluffy stuff (that was tasty), and placed Star Trek figurines painted to look like Dad and By telemarking down the mountain. It was a tasty wedding cake, which is rare, and creative. I kept the fake tree for a long time afterward, and the figurines still pop up in random places in the house. Although I am sure the cake was a daunting task, difficult and rushed, I was really impressed that she did it.
-I got hugged in front of everyone, By was not only marrying my Dad, but accepting me as part of the package!
-They got married in a Bed'n'Breakfast, which seemed very daring to me at the time.
-They have matching wedding rings, showing the Colorado Rockies. Rather than a plain band chaining my father, and glamorous diamonds bedazzling my stepmom, the rings are very personally tied to one-another. "I'm not just married," they say to me, "I'm married to THAT one."
There are other stories to tell, of course, like how I sprained my ankle at the reception, and my dad (ahem) thought my friend was making it up. But I wasn't going to tell that story.
Anyway, they have a little daughter, Laurel, now, who takes up so much time and energy it might be difficult to remember that beautiful fall day back in Colorado. Having never had a relationship last for more than six months, I have no sage words of advice, but regardless, I hope they both still feel the love that they felt when they tied the knot, and I wish them many happy years of marriage to come. Happy Anniversary!
Dad on Mount Chocorua, By, the best storyteller ever.
On the other side of my parent's divorce is my stepdad, known as "The Professor" to my mom's blogosphere, and "Papa" to me. It is his birthday today! Sorry, I don't have any photographs.
When my mom started dating my stepdad, it was very different from her other post-divorce dates. He didn't just take Mom out, he took the both of us out: we flew kites, we went hiking, he cooked dinner for us, we went hiking some more, I remember there was a lot of hiking. During those times of young love, my stubby little legs were very tired. He even took care of me when I was sick or Mom had to work, and (true test of love here) wiped my butt when I should have mastered the skill by myself, and took a very active roll in getting me to shtop thucking my fumb.
He read stories to me, sang songs to me,and taught me how to spell quasi-geostrophic potential vorticity at an early age. It was clear that he loved me as well as my mom, and even though it took a long time for me to trust him, I loved him back. Once that was accomplished, he was the one who taught me how to talk about feelings (bigger feelings than, "I love you, Mommy," and "I feel like there's a rock in my shoe"). It's been a long time since he's tutored me in that skill, I hope I still have it. I felt very close to him though, so close at one point that I often confided in him before I confided in my mother.
Mom and Papa had two kids, who I love very much. I'm always surprised when people call them my "half-brother," and, "half-sister," there's no "half" about it, they're 100% brother and sister to me. I'm very thankful that Papa did not treat me as a half-child; in his eyes and his actions, I was a full member of his family.
Now I've flown the coop, as they say, and the relationship dynamics have changed. It's hard to say exactly why or how or where it will go, but on this day, that is immaterial. Papa has been a really excellent stepfather to me, which I am grateful for, and I love him. Happy Birthday!