To the Editor:
I truly enjoyed the recent "Dads and Grads" issue – not only because I personally know many of the wonderful families featured, but because my daughter, Chelsea, is a 2009 graduate of Irvington High School as well.
I would like to acknowledge all of the other "Dads" of graduating seniors, too – men who have been instrumental in getting these young adults to graduation day, although they cannot officially claim the title of "Father." They include grandfathers, uncles, family friends, teachers, or, in the case of my family, stepfathers. My husband, Mike, has been Chelsea’s stepfather since she began middle school. At the time, he had no children of his own and took Chelsea and her brother, Conor, into his life and heart as if they were his. Stepping into the role of parent is never easy, but becoming an instant parent to a teenage girl was a formidable challenge and one that Mike took on quietly, with no fanfare, and with 100% commitment and dedication. Whether it was driving five girls home from a party at 2 a.m., teaching Chelsea to drive a car, or editing (and re-editing) her college application essays, Mike has been a steady, consistent and loving presence.
Chelsea has a father, and Mike is very respectful of that relationship. Yet, in his own way, he has made an immeasurable impact on Chelsea’s life and has been a shining example of what it means to be a principled, devoted and thoughtful human being in this world. I consider my children incredibly fortunate to have Mike as a "father" in their lives.
So, Happy Father’s Day to all the men who fill our children’s lives with love, laughs, and infinite devotion.