For the most part I have found being a stepparent a rewarding experience. Even though they have been in my life a mere 2 years, I consider these three kids my own. They spend summers and holidays with thier dad, half a country away in Texas. This year my stepson's summer visit is going to be a permanant move. For the most part with the exception of an occasional camping trip he isn't much for the great outdoors. His sisters on the other hand will go shooting or fishing every chance they get. Last sunday at his suggestion we took a day for the shooting range. For the past couple years there has been 2 .50 caliber muzzleloaders residing in my gunsafe. They'd never been shot in the time I had them. Ever since we sat and wached the movie "Jeramiah Johnson" he's been wanting to shoot these babies. He has a favorite of the two so he shot that one and I shot the other. First I loaded mine and shot it. Then I loaded his while he watched. He took aim and squeezed off his first shot. At this time I noticed the biggest grin I'd ever seen on his face. At that he reloaded while I watched and he was off and shooting. After what was probably the best afternoon we had ever spent together we headed home. He even cleaned the gun with no arguments, he was actually happy to do it.
Today I had the day off. DW worked an overnight shift last night, so I figured it best to get the kids away from home so she could sleep. Off we went to a different sporstmans club. This one a little less primitive, and much more family friendly. Also closer to home. This club has a 35 acre lake built back at the turn of the last century built by the late great New York Central railroad. Origionaly built to assure a constant supply of water for a large mainline water tower in the era of steam power. It now just provides a constant supply of recreation for 900 of Genesee counties families. We spent a great day fishing. And in my case getting completely sunburned. Only one fish was caught, we had more fun feeding our left over worms to the fingerling bluegills under the dock than we did fishing for thier parents.
Saturday they hop on a plane for Houston. While mom and I could use a short break just for us, the break will be too long in the end. I wonder if these kids realize just how much they mean to me. I wonder if they know just how much I love them. I wonder if they understand the effect they've had on me. They may not call me dad, but, they are my kids. Just as much as they are his kids.
I love you kids.
And Christopher, I will miss you more than you will ever know.