gratitude for the step dad






it’s no secret i have a lot of love for this guy i’m spending my life with, but i don’t know if i’ve ever really bragged about what a wonderful step dad he is to quinn. if luigi were reading this, he’d fuss that rich isn’t really quinn’s step dad yet, just like he isn’t uncle rich yet, but i can’t think of a better term for the role of mama’s partner in all things including parenting.

these guys got along right from the first dinosaur battle, but as anyone with a blended family knows, the step parent relationship can be a thankless, unfulfilling one. you have all the pains in the butt of parenting, with so few of the perks. rich is my back up, and he has always been there to reinforce what mama says, and when he does, look out for the fire shooting out of his eyes. it tends to encourage a rapid response in children on the receiving end. there was once a time when quinn would beg me, “don’t make me have a talk with rich!” as if anything on earth would be more pleasant! please mama, just not that.

other times, they have both worked their way towards finding common ground and they have really grown to appreciate one another. one goodnight hug after another, they’ve found their groove.

in dragon house 2.0, there is a wall above the stairway that apparently has been the spot to hang trophy heads, and as we were remarking that we didn’t have one, rich realized, actually we do have one! a dragon head! and quinn chimed in right away, yeah! with hearty enthusiasm for that brilliant idea. the reason our home is the dragon house to begin with is that both of them have a deep and abiding love for dragons.


when rich’s kids came to karate with us, i was touched to see quinn come off the mat afterwards and walk straight to rich and give him the first hug.

often i find myself playing one-on-one games of baseball with quinn, and i do my best to help the mylanta falcons, miami home slice, and south dakota purple fairies not be too devastatingly defeated by the buffalo stormriders. still, quinn seems to know that rich is a much better bet when it comes to baseball. he made up a team on paper, and if you’ll notice, rich’s stats are pretty great. he’s the toledo dragon with a speed rating of 9!


speaking of 9, the two of them stood in the kitchen procrastinating bedtime a few nights ago, and talking about math, the present moment, the irrelevance of time, and fourth grade. we learned that quinn is a synesthete, and that certain letters and numbers evoke certain colors in his mind. i had no idea!

my guys IMG_7271

m is purple, for example. s is yellow, n is brown and p is pink. 3 is green, and rich’s favorite number 9, is rich’s favorite color, red.

my guys IMG_7274

i am hoping to find out more about what colors go with what numbers and letters for quinn, but i know that on this father’s day, feeling filled up with love for both of my guys, all the letters seem red-violet to me.


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