An ode to a stepfather

Today, I’m writing for every woman that one day or another had to broke up with the dad of their child(ren). First, being single again can be scary, but you all deserve a second chance in love.

Here is our story and between you and me, I hope it will help you keep faith in love.

The 31st of July is an important date for my boyfriend and me, as it marks our 3rd year as a couple. It’s only been 3 years as I often say, but also it’s already been 3 years, and it feels like time flew by. As if we met yesterday, but that we already knew everything about one another.

In July of 2016, as a mother who wanted to feel like a woman again and boost her ego after a break-up, I joined Tinder, thinking it was the best option. I subscribed just to chat and be less bored when my son would be away with its dad. For me, love was impossible and inaccessible.

We spoke for 2 weeks before we met. We were laughing and we even made up stories to make each other laugh. The day before we met, he had a family party. We were planning on meeting on that day, but it would have been awkward on his part to cancel his party and I totally understood. We were joking about him taking me to his party and introducing me as his fiancée, so his aunts and uncles would freak out. Before meeting, we were both in a 7-year relationship, let me tell you his family wouldn’t have found our little joke so funny… But we secretly liked the thought of it!

And then, it was July 31st. I was wearing a cute little blue dress and made sure to do my hair and makeup perfectly. But I think that what made me stand out that day, was that I was glowing with excitement… Something that rarely happened in previous years.

We met on the Plains of Abraham for an afternoon walk. I didn’t realize how tall he was until I saw him and his 6’4” — charmed by his height and by his charisma.
We talked about everything like two old friends. We even talked about our respective ex (which is a “major don’t” on a first date). He was surprised that I like to watch hockey and I was surprised that he wanted to meet me even if I had a child.

He took me out for ice cream at Chocolat Favoris on Cartier avenue. On the way up, he pulled something out of his poker: a Ring Pop! You know, the ring candy you use to wear on your hand as a little girl?! And he said; “Instead of asking you to marry me, I brought you this”. More or less, that’s what he said! It was a reference to the joke we used to do a few days previous. I was under his spell. I like to say that; “He got me at Ring Pop”.

We spent the evening together, watched the Summer Olympics on my ugly couch in my tiny apartment, learned about each other’s past and before knowing it we were in love… quicker than expected.

He met my son a month later. Back then, my 2-year-old was astonished by this big guy. We went to the park, and they quickly connected, calling themselves “best buddies” according to my son.
Then was the first “Can I introduce you as my boyfriend/girlfriend?”, the official meeting with my parents, with his brother and sister, and to my friends at my son’s birthday party.

Then came his niece’s birthday party, where I met his parents, his goddaughter’s birth, my birthday, our first Christmas and our first trip to Rimouski for New Year’s Eve with his friends and his family. Everything was as easy as it could be. We were in love. We couldn’t believe it because “once bitten, twice shy” but we wanted this so badly!

We had to face a lot of tests throughout the years. First my car accident (that affected me physically and mentally), the many misunderstandings with my son’s father (that was taking all of my energy) and having full custody of my son (which was a huge game-changer).

We had great moments too: our trip to New York City (a dream come true), our dinners at the restaurants talking about everything, his 33-year old birthday party with friends and a lot of sushi, and our trip to the Dominican Republic for my birthday. There were also many parties with alcohol and friends in Chambly and Rimouski, the evenings we spent just the 3 of us, and the many nights on my couch watching the Montréal Canadiens, the Raptors, the UFC and even District 31 (a Québec tv show).

Almost 2 years after we met, we bought our first home together on the South Shore of Quebec City, and we became a recomposed family; my son, him and I. Then 9 months later we welcomed our daughter, from stepfather to real dad he became. Recently, our daughter’s disease shook us and was a test for our couple (you can read my story here), but we went through it thanks to communication, effort and love.

Only God knows how much I love him. This man proved to me that a relationship where both persons are equal is possible. This man accepted me and everything I am: my overflowing emotions, my insecurities, and my hypersensitivities. I feel like a better person since the day I met him. He’s such an incredible person to have welcomed my little Laurent as his step-son so easily and to give strength to our little Magalie to keep on fighting.

This man, we call him Jean-Pierre or JP for close friends and I’m so grateful to call him my boyfriend, my lover of 3 years. I love you, my love!

This post was translated from French to English by:

Charlène Bessenay
I am Charlene. I was born in France but I live in Quebec City since 2007. I am a 32-year-old married mom of 2 (a boy and a girl), a part-time student (translation) and also a hockey mom 😉 I decided to go to university at 31 because I love foreign languages and I needed a new challenge. I love food and wine (I’m French you remember 😉 ), I have a very long travel bucket list and I practice Zumba and Yoga.

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