Journey to 30
Day 2: A Lesson from My Stepfather
In the 90’s it was already common for about half of the school population to have step-parents, and to be honest I had been jealous of these friends since preschool. Two months after dad passed I was already asking my mother when she would find a new dad for us. By that February my mom had married David, the man that would raise me and despite their unsuccessful run after 17 years would always be my father. He taught me love and self-acceptance, accepting my unique perspective and praising it. He was the first person who really paid me compliments just for the sake of encouragement.
I remember just before he married my mother I was coloring a picture while riding in the car with him through our tiny west Texas town he was learning to call home. Upon completion I began picking out each and every imperfection. I was frustrated and I told him I knew it was terrible, but he turned to me and said, “no it is beautiful because you made it Jessica, that is the point of art, nothing is perfect. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” It was a pivotal eye opener to say the least. My mind nearly exploded with the overwhelming excitement of boundless talent and abilities. All the sudden the wall created by my coaches who had taught me that you are athletic or you’re a spaz, my teachers who had endlessly taught me there is only a right and a wrong answer, members of my family who were strict to structure and held fast to their morals was busted open and I was free!
I am not afraid to throw all of life’s plans out the window. I am not afraid if what is our constant and what we depend on as a family should shatter. I watch my daughter squish her fingers through the wide array of paint hues and continue to spread and and paint over her previously completed works of art. With my love, experiences, dreams, and inspirations I plan to blob and spread, and blend all the aspects of the next chapter over the old only adding beauty to the age.
My step-father taught me self-love, and how to color outside the lines. I will continue to make efforts to pass this on to B and my own daughters.