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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 24, 2013/ 14 Iyar, 5773

I promised myself he'd never have a stepdad

By Sharon Randall




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I never wanted my children to have a stepfather. My parents divorced when I was 2, and my mother soon remarried. My stepfather was a good man, but he wasn't my daddy. I blamed him unreasonably for that.

I recall in third grade the day the teacher asked aloud in front of everyone -- God and all his angels and 30 pairs of perked-up ears -- why my mother's last name was different from mine.

I rose slowly from my seat and swallowed hard.

"Because," I said, "she never listens to me. She divorced my daddy and married my stepdad against my advice. And now I have to explain to people why we have different names."

In the '50s, in the South, divorce was a rarity. I might as well have said, "Because my mother is from Earth, and I am from Mars, on a mission to enlighten ignorant teachers."

Twenty years later, my first child came home from kindergarten to ask, "Mom, do I have a stepdad?"

"Of course not," I said. "Why in the world would you ask that?"

He shrugged. "All the other kids have stepdads."

I promised him that day he would never have a stepdad. It was not a promise I would keep.

He and his sister and brother were in their late teens to early 20s when we lost their dad to cancer. Years later, when I decided to remarry, it was in part because I saw the kind of father my intended was to his two boys, and I knew he'd be a good stepdad to my children.

The kids liked him from the start. They especially liked that he made me happy. If he made Mom happy, they were happy. If he didn't, God help him.

Nobody starts out in life aspiring to be a good "step." It's a default role, a second-class citizen, a substitute teacher, a giant "step" from the real thing.

My children loved their father. No one could take his place.

My new husband knew this. He wouldn't want it any other way. He just tried to be the best stepdad he could be. Mostly, he tried by not trying. He never pushed, never assumed, just stayed in the background and let the kids come to him.

Imagine my delight (and his) when my kids sent him birthday cards and Father's Day cards and bought Christmas presents especially for him.

The icing on the cake -- the real seal of approval -- came when my daughter asked him to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.

I wish you could've seen them.

None of this surprised me, really. I knew he'd be a great stepdad. What never occurred to me then -- before my children had children -- was what kind of step-grandpa he would be.

My grandsons -- Randy, 2 and a half; Henry, 1 and a half; and 4-month-old Wiley -- will never know my late husband, their grandfather. They will hear countless stories of who he was, things he did, all the ways they are like him. They will know how much he loves them.

But they will never play catch with him, or beat him at hoops, or ask him to buy them a car.

Lucky for them, they will have "Papa Mark," who is not their real grandpa, but acts like one, and loves them just the same.

One evening, Randy and Papa Mark were sitting on the floor playing with model cars.

"Randy," I said, glancing at the clock, "would you like Nana to read you a story before bed?"

"No, 'shank' you, Nana," he said. "I want to play with Papa Mark. I like him better."

Then, as if to clarify, he added, "I 'yuv' you, Papa Mark."

Long ago, I learned this about love: You can never have too much of it. I could love my stepfather and still love my dad. One love doesn't diminish another or compete in any way. Love begets love -- especially in the heart of a child.

I believe that absolutely.

But the next time Randy comes to visit, I'm going to buy myself a fleet of model cars.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:


Did I hear it?

Other People's Stuff

Imprinted geography: Home is wherever the mountain is

Long-overdue thank-yous

My sister's big news

Finding peace wherever I can; at the moment and in memory

I wish someone had told me this before it took years off my life

The best part of being a grandparent

Feasting on scraps: The reality behind a life habit

The only tradition to keep absolutely

The class hears from the teacher's mom

We live in different towns, but share the same home

The value of one true friend

With Sandy raging, a 'which' kind of day

The connections that truly matter

Children don't need much --- but need to know they matter

Cancer is everyone's story

When does 'happily ever after' begin?

Is there ever a good way to say goodbye?

The being and the finding

When fishing, she lands companionship

Trophy sunsets

Helping a friend find the way

A home abloom with family and sunflowers

Healing is our highest calling

Needing help can really make you feel so, well . . . helpless

The bedspread from hell

A phone call to treasure

It was close to the best gift my father had ever received

It was the right time --- not a moment too late or too soon

25 tips for staying married

Some people water your soul --- a storm worth waiting for

Driving country roads helps restore hope

Confessions of a bad-weather magnet

The new star of my husband's harem

Shared family moments are precious, irreplaceable

What I'll remember from serving on the jury in a murder case

When someone walks into your life and never lets you go

Look for beauty

We can't always 'be there' when we're needed

Picture-perfect memories

To love someone is to want to hear all their stories

With age should come at least some wisdom

A story for my grandson

Regretting she didn't help out a woman in need

Post-holiday-visit blues

For 2012, tuck some hope into your wallet

The measure of a time well spent is not where you went or what you did. It's the way you smile remembering it

Treating people we love like the Jello salad at Thanksgiving dinner

We all need something or someone to pull for

Hold on to treasured words, don't trust memory

A storybook princess

Love reaches forward, never back

How to Watch a Sunset

Waiting often comes with gifts

An exceptional book club

There is no guilt in moving forward

Celebrations full of love and buttercream

It takes a whole village of shoes to raise a child

The best stories always tell us who we are

Stop, look back . . . and listen

The great outdoors, if one's lucky, a rock-solid companion

An iChat with my grandson

Lightening bugs and other things make us glow

Each and every Fourth of July a cause for celebration



© 2012, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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