Salute to Stepdads

Hello! I am Tonette Joyce. You may have seen me put my two cents in here quite often, so often in fact, that the other Foxes and the Hound figured they may as well put me to work as your new Friday Fox. Lynn Rush has had to bow-out as she has become very busy with her family, life and career, (a multi-book contract! Yea, Lynn!). We wish her all the best and continued success. She will be missed by all of us.

In keeping with this week’s theme of fathers,
I am not going to talk about my father, (whose parenting skills are best left unmentioned), nor of my husband, (who seems to grow as a father to our sons as he excels in his grandfatherhood to their children). I am not even going to go on about my sons, (who, although they started young, were diaper-changin’ daddies from day-one and continue to be great hands-on dads).
No, I would like to give a shout-out to stepfathers, the men who truly take a parental role in the lives of the women they love.
My grandfather married later in life to a young widow with three sons. Although he and my grandmother afterward had seven children of that union, (including twins when he was sixty-one and she was forty-seven), my grandfather raised the older boys as his own; their children he considered his grandchildren. He trained two of them in his building business. One went on to have his own company; the other, (a charming scoundrel), went to LA and worked making models for the movies, before computer special effects. When that uncle retired he would come and tell warm tales of the family and of my grandfather. I think any man spoken well of by his black sheep stepson must have put his heart in his task as father.
My grandfather set up the oldest ‘boy’ in a store of his own, and he became my grandfather’s best friend. When he died tragically, suddenly at only 36 years old, my grandfather could not even bring himself to attend the funeral.
When that uncle’s widow remarried, her new husband could not have been a better father to my cousins and was an ‘uncle’ to us. Indeed, this family story of one Christmas was often told: My cousin received a ‘big-boy’ gift that his younger, (half) brother dreamed of getting. “Ya’s like him better’n me!” he cried to his parents. But, as in my mother’s family, the new siblings were never referred to as ‘half’ and they are considered cousins of ours, as well.
There are a number of examples in my side of the family, but I have to give credit to those on my husband’s side while I’m at it. There were fifteen children born to his mother and father and frankly, I have lost count of the number of nieces and nephews we have, (more than fifty, last approximation); some of these are stepchildren of brothers-in-law, who always claim them as their own. My father-in-law will as easily send out bragging emails of their accomplishments and announcements of great-grandchildren born to them as he will of any of his progeny.
As hard as it is for some men to step up to the role of father to their own flesh-and-blood, (and I applaud all who do), I give a special salute to the men who truly have to earn the title of ‘Dad’.

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About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for almost thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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16 Responses to Salute to Stepdads

  1. jeff salter says:

    Welcome, Tonette. Glad to have you become a formal part of our gaggle here by stepping up to Friday Fox status.
    Enjoyed your tribute to Step-dads. And I agree that it takes a good bit ‘extra’ effort and love for someone to enter an existing family or add members to one’s own family.
    A layer of complication — and possible confusion — can be involved if the natural father is still living and remains in regular contact. But if everybody cooperates and plays fair, it can still work.

    My son, at 39, married a lovely woman with two young teens … so he is a step-dad. But, as far as I can tell, their kids are his kids. And they’ve had a new baby together. Those young teens love their new sibling without any distinction or differientation.

  2. Tonette says:

    Thank you, Jeff; it was a very unexpected offer to join all of you here, and very exciting! I am really looking forward to the challenge.
    Congratulations to your son and best wishes to your son…and all families,blended or not.
    Have a Happy Father’s Day!

  3. Bethany says:

    YAY Tonette! Happy for you landing Friday Fox status. Great post! Thank you for sharing about your family. :-)

  4. Tonette says:

    Thank you, Bethany; I have to give you credit for introducing me to Jeff, then the pebble started rolling down the hill until Jillian approached me about Joining in.I can’t tell you what a surprise it was!

  5. Tonette says:

    Jeff, remember some time back when I was an ‘ambassador’ for one of Janet Evanovich’s Plum novels? I offered the ones I had left over to Bethany to give away,and you won one of them. I sent a note with it asking you how a couple of people transplanted to Kentucky had fallen in with all those Texans!

  6. Laurie Ryan says:

    Hi, Tonette. I’m looking forward to seeing more thoughts from you. Like you, I keep a close eye on this blog. It’s been a fun one to follow. And I so agree with your comments about step-fathers. Not to impugn (did I spell that right?) my own father, but my step-father was an amazing man. Loving to my mother and us and generous to a fault. I remember one time, especially, when I was a single parent struggling paycheck to paycheck. He “borrowed” my car one day and when I got it back, I had a whole new exhaust system on it. He said he was tired of hearing me coming two blocks away. :) He passed in 1992 and we miss him to this day. Thank you for reminding me of how special those that choose us as their children are.

    • tonettejoyce says:

      Nice of you to write, Laurie; yes,I remember your name.My, what a sweetheart of a stepdad you had! You were so lucky and I am glad that you appreciate him. Thanks for the support; I appreciate it. I hope you are amused by today’s story from me…and the rest of the crew. Hope you drop in and give your two-cents often! Tonette

  7. Great post, Tonette- I love that your family blended so well. That’s super. AND welcome to our little family here.

  8. Tonette says:

    Thank you ,Jillian…and thank you for the opportunity to be with you!

  9. Becky Reed says:

    Lovely compliment to step-dads! It’s interesting that my own dad remembered his step-father as less than desirable in taking a firm hand with his mother. Amazing fabric of our memories…but I have to so heartily commend you on your thoughts to the men who take on this role. I’ll add my “well done” to yours any day! Congratulations on your blog piece!

  10. Tonette says:

    Thank you so much, Becky! Your professional opinion is greatly appreciated here.
    Thank you for your continued support!

  11. Micki Gibson says:

    Welcome to the Four Foxes One Hound blog! What a wonderful tribute to step-dads!

  12. Tonette says:

    Thanks so much,Micki.
    I am thrilled to be here with you!
    [I guess I'm a silver fox!]

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