To my parents' significant others (JD & KK),
I know I spent most of my life with parents that were married. That was a bit odd in our town; most of my friends had parents that were married but most others didn't. Many kids would talk about having two different houses, having a stepmom and stepfather along with step-siblings. That was a weird concept for me — part of me wanted to experience that but at the same time I liked things they were in our little green house on a street with other "happy" families.
As we got older, those I grew up with would do anything to create hell for their parents' significant others. They would hate them for every little thing they did. I'm still not sure if this is because they actually hated them, if it was a form of hazing or if it's because that's what we grew up observing in movies and on television shows.
As you're aware, you met one of my parents my senior year of high school, right before I was about to head off to college. Unlike most others I didn't care — it actually made me happy. I was ecstatic that things were different. Most are scared of change but I needed this change for more reasons than one.
There's nothing like seeing those that you love at their happiest. I loved being able to see my parents happy and in a functional relationship. I was off to college and it was nice to see that my parents were taken care of when I was 70 miles away, not to mention I loved knowing that my sister could finish high school in a different way than I did.
There hasn't been a day that I have wished anything different for my parents. I have always wanted to see a smile on their face and for them to be in love even if they weren't in love with my other parent. This one simple life lesson has shown me that you truly do want what is best for those you love even if they aren't with who you want them to be with.
I never understood the hazing period, I never will. I wouldn't want to scare the person that means the most to my parent away. I had bigger more important things to do than torcher those my parents loved. Now don't get me wrong, I know we may not see eye to eye all the time, but I don't always see eye to eye with my parents or my friends. If I weren't comfortable with you I wouldn't argue with you.
I approve of you and everything that you are. I appreciate what you do for my parent and I love that because of you, my parent has found out what it is like to be in love with a soul mate.
I like that you guys don't fight, I like that you enjoy spending time together and I like that you treat my sister and I like family. What I like the most is that I have two relationships to look at and two relationships that model what love is supposed to look like.
Love doesn't mean having two kids together and staying together for them, in your cases, it means finding someone that has kids and treating them well even if you don't have to, even if they aren't your duty.
Love isn't staying together because you feel as if you need to; it's not getting married, it's knowing that even though it's not legally binding it will last because you treat each other well and stick by each other's side through all difficulties — you have no one else to prove it to.
I love having relationships I want to mimic, and four different people in my life that I know will be there for me. There isn't a single thing I would change about the relationships that my parents have, even if an option was having my parents back together again, really though — I mean that.
So thank you.
Thank you for changing my parents' life, changing my life, and being a positive role model of what love is for both Lyss and me.