We enjoy listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Sirius XM Radio, broadcast on both Friday and Saturday night. This week, one of the performers mumbled something about how his step kids are his kids and he doesn’t use the word “step” because it sounds rude. That is such a myth. It is not rude at all – it’s the truth. Step kids are step kids and step dads are step dads. You can still have a close, loving relationship while acknowledging that truth.

Because the truth lies underneath that nicety – mostly nice for the adults who don’t know how to deal with the situation with the misguided idea that it’s best for the kids. No, it’s best for the adults. Because what’s best for the kids is to know their own father and to call him dad, if at all possible. Eventually, this truth will show up and it’ll be even harder to deal with later.

For example, I called my step dad “dad” for most of my life – I thought he was my dad until I was about 8 or 9. But at my “grandfather’s” funeral, my “grandmother” introduced me as her son’s step daughter. I was in shock – until then I thought everybody was playing along with this game called “this is your dad.” It hurt far more then than if we’d all been honest and used the word “step” all along.

I then read online how this performer’s latest song was the story of meeting his wife and the birth of their first child. There you go – right there is the subtlety of the difference between a bio child and a step child. If the step kids are like his own kids, why didn’t he write a song about them? If country music is “3 chords and the truth” – well, there you go – he was singing the truth – he just wasn’t living it. And don’t think the kids don’t notice these things.

I’ve had both a step dad and a bio dad and while my step dad and I have had a close relationship at times, there is a subtle and sometimes not so subtle difference. You’ve heard the romantic song, “It’s in His Kiss,” well, I would have to say, when it comes to dads, “It’s in His Hug.” Maybe there’s a song there somewhere.

Hugs with my step dad were always a bit awkward. But I’ll never forget my last hug from my father. We’d spent the weekend getting to know one another and the hug he greeted me with before that was just so-so. In fact, he pulled back first. But, the good-bye hug, well, when I tried to pull away first this time, he pulled me closer and held me close as if he didn’t want to let me go. That’s a real father’s hug. I’ll never forget it.

He is also now my biggest fan of my writing and especially enjoyed Letters on Balboa Island.”

But our relationship really began after he read Myths of the Fatherless, which I wrote after I met him. That’s when he became “dad.”

MYTHS OF THE FATHERLESS

cover_myths_150Every little girl loves her daddy. But what happens when that daddy is missing? Or another man steps into his place? Society has accepted many myths about what that means to a child.

MYTHS OF THE FATHERLESS attempts to dispel those myths by sharing the author’s story of her search for her father and eventual reunion with him. Throughout her journey, she discovered she was not alone, and despite her denial, fathers are very important to a woman. And whatever the reason the father is missing, not knowing him affects a woman’s relationships with men and her entire life.

READ about it on the Orange County Register.

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.