For Christmas I gave my wife a book on step-mothering. This was not because I believed she needed any assistance, but because she is genuinely interested. She takes it seriously. I have given her books before, and she appreciated them, but this one was very enlightening. I have been reading it myself, and am amazed at what a tough task – a truly thankless job – the role of step mothering is. Hard enough to enter into the world of marriage for the first time on the second go-round. It is another altogether to live the life of a stepmother. I had no idea.

The stepmother is not revered, rarely appreciated, and kicks ass nonetheless.

I remember when I was dating my wife. The divorce venom was coursing through the arteries of our life. Things were difficult, trying, and just plain crazy. I told her my daughter comes first. Frustrated – but understanding – she said to me with tears in her eyes, “I wouldn’t love you so much if you didn’t feel that way.”

My daughter as first priority was non-negotiable. She wouldn’t have loved me as much even if my values put her on a higher pedestal. She was on the fast-track to marriage.

I am married to the most beautiful woman in all the world. While stunningly gorgeous to the sight, she would look the same to me were I blind. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met. Her heart encompasses my own as well as my daughter’s… with room to spare.

My daughter cried throughout our Wedding Ceremony, showing an emotional maturity far exceeding the mere 9 years of her life. They get along great, and there is real love, all around.

I am blessed by the women in my life. Yes, I am referring to my 9 year old daughter as a Little Woman. She has grown into the title with beauty, dignity, and grace..

In the mornings I set my alarm to a few minutes before 6:00 AM. To get to school on time, we need to be out the door at 7:30, at the latest. Last week I awoke at 7:00 AM, in a sheer panic. When I came into the kitchen there was my daughter, dressed, and having made herself a bowl of cereal for breakfast. She made me a bowl as well, and was getting the spoons when I first saw her.

“Hi dad!” she said.

My Little Woman.

I am a lucky man. I owe this largely to these amazing women in my life.

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