|Art and my mom|
Caught us all off guard, I think. You see, I grew up in a pretty small town, and so everybody has some idea who everybody else is to some degree—at least among people with kids around the same age. Art was dating a woman who was a long time friend of my mom, but things weren't very rosy there. (she was sort of an uptight lady—she honestly never smiled because she believed it would give her wrinkles—in her defense, she had a lovely complexion--probably still does)
Spring break when I was in 8th grade, my mom and I went skiing and she let me take two friends with us—my BFF, Shannon, and Caroline. In McCall, we ran into Art and his kids—three boys (of ages on either side of me, and all in the 'cool' range) and a girl, and Kari, the daughter, who is youngest--4 years younger than me, saw this group of GIRLS and thought she'd sort of like to hang with us instead of her dad and brothers.
You see (and here is the 'holy crap, that IS a small town' part) Shannon's DAD was dating Art's ex-wife, so Shannon and Kari knew each other well.
That was when Art first decided mom was the woman for him... a lady who takes a group of teens skiing for break was his type of lady.
They got to know each other a little, but she solidly refused to date him because of this friend of hers.
She held out until I went with a group of students to Europe that June. I learned later that that allowed them to go OUT OF TOWN for a date... now this was my mother... that means ONLY what I said... that they drove 80 miles to Coeur d'Alene for dinner because my mom didn't want to run into anyone and make anyone uncomfortable unless they decided it was going to be a real thing.
I got back three weeks later and the two were already in it for the long haul. They got married in August.
|With his daughter and her daughters and my mom|
He is the kind of man who takes the high road. Who preserves feelings, even if it makes him look like the bad guy. His divorce wasn't a smooth one, and though many might have bashed their former spouse, he never said a WORD. He didn't say anything negative to his kids because she was their mother and he loves them.
He is full of jokes and stories. He is the go to guy for help of all sorts—anybody can ask and they do—friends, family, neighbors, church members. He is a retired electrician, so the set of skills is more vast that most people have.
He is a master of innuendo. His tag line on the side of his truck said, “Let us remove your shorts”. Definitely a forerunner of my own pants-free movement.
As a Step-Dad
He was cautious about pushing it. I was 14 when they married, and he didn't press the father angle. It was probably good. Mom and I had been alone for four years and I wouldn't have reacted well to any heavy-handed parenting when I'd never had any. My mom's illusions were hard enough. I was grounded four times as a kid—three of them in the early weeks of their marriage.
I knew though, that I could count on him for anything—call when there was trouble.
As My Mom's Husband
See, this is the best part. My mom has an underdeveloped sense of whimsy. She got serious far too young in life and felt she had to stay there. Art though, pulls her into fun. He makes her laugh, he helps her play... and he smiles and nods when she gets on one of her soap boxes (most of which I agree with her on—they are often political, but I think Art just humors her)
I love that she has someone to lighten her life—to help her have a little fun.
Art, you're a good man and I love you!
And Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! (Including HWMNBMOTI)
Edit: I've done some rewording on this. My original post hurt the feelings of a few people and for that, I'm deeply sorry. I've apologized more formally here.