Sunday Post 88: Part of the Family

On vacation at Capon Springs two weeks ago, Uncle Matt and Aunt Sallie had reserved the exercise pool at the spa for a family swim.  They were taking my niece and nephew for a little mom and dad time.

Right before they went, Stephanie ran into our room.

“What are you up to?” I asked.

“I’m going to the spa with Uncle Matt and Aunt Sallie.  They’re going on a family swim.”

“Honey, they need some time alone with their kids.  I don’t think you should barge in.  Don’t change your clothes.”  A look of disapproval crossed her brow.

A few minutes later a knock came on the door.  It was Sallie.  “Where’s Stephanie?  We’re about to go.”

Stephanie opened the door.  “Dad won’t let me go.”

“Why can’t she go?” Sallie inquired.

“You guys need some family time away from my kids.”

“Lucy is part of our family.”  The emphasis was on the is.

What a wonderful feeling…to be part of a family.

A week before that, I was having a conversation with DJ.  I always harp on her about wearing seat belts and never riding with someone who has been drinking.  Then I play what if…

“What if you were at a party and your ride home got drunk?  What would you do?”

Without hesitation she said, “I’d call Ms. B.”

“Your old cheerleading coach?”

“Yeah.  She told me I could call her any time I needed her.  Or I’d call Jesse.  He’d come get me.”

“What about me?”

“You’d be down a little further on my list.”

Not only was I behind Uncle Jesse, but I was also behind the former cheerleading coach.  Ouch.  Sort of hurt my feelings.

Yesterday Michelle told me she had a second mom.  When I asked her who it was, she said, “Ms. Horton.”  That’s one of her best buddy’s mothers.  She loves my kid and builds her up like only a mother can do.  When Michelle told her that a boy had asked her to be his girlfriend at camp, Ms. Horton’s response was, “That doesn’t surprise me at all.  You’re beautiful inside and out.”

Sallie’s comment really struck me as did DJ’s choice of bail out options.  Ms. Horton’s effortless response, a simple yet beautiful vote of uncompromising support, reassured me that I wasn’t in this alone. 

I don’t have any doubt that my kids know that I love them, but as they often tell me, “You have to say that, you’re our dad.”  What I’m so very thankful for is that they have others who open their hearts and pour out their love on them too. 

Don’t we all need someone to love us above and beyond those who have to?

Leave a comment


  1. Homestead Ramblings

     /  September 9, 2012

    I can’t tell you how grateful I am of all of those ‘other moms’ my kids have had throughout their years, whether its been their youth group leader or even their in-laws, God has always provided that extra counsel when it was most needed. Some day you’ll get to return the favor. 🙂

  2. Aunt Susan

     /  September 9, 2012

    You realize that they feel they can have “other” mom’s because you have given them the roots to have that freedom. Good Job Bruce.

  3. I have so many fond memories of Capon Springs from my childhood. These “mothers” are the village that it takes to rear children and have clearly nestled yours under their wings! I am so very sorry for your loss…

    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 11, 2012

      It is a huge family – and interesting that you feel so connected although you see them only once each year.

  4. April

     /  September 10, 2012

    Even us “old people” need that. Your mom is like that. Could call on her anytime and she would be there. Aren’t we blessed.

  5. Susan Hessen

     /  September 11, 2012

    I just discovered your blog…and am overwhelmed and so deeply touched by your family’s story. As a military family, we have had some tough losses and said alot of good-byes but we can’t begin to imagine how difficult it must have been to lose your partner. As a military spouse, I have been so very fortunate to have friends who have become family. We have never had the luxury of living near relatives so the military becomes your home away from home and those that surround you, become family. I treasure the love and support they provided both myself and my kids during some very difficult times and I am grateful that you and your children have a support network that will keep you afloat when you need it. Your words and your blog are absolutely beautiful and compelling to all of us and I am thankful that I will get to share in your journey through your words…..all the best to your family !!
    p.s. Tell Jesse that I think his post was also amazing and very touching !!!

    • Danny Tanner

       /  September 11, 2012

      Glad you found us Susan. I can’t imagine the difficult times that a military family endures. I grew up in Fayetteville, NC, a military town. My father was a minister there and worked a great deal with the military families. I’m sure it is incredibly fulfilling and yet so very, very difficult at times.

  6. Cathy Kramer

     /  September 12, 2012

    I hope you know that I always felt that way about your parents too growing up. They were part of my extended family that loved me! I still love that “Ma Jean!”


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