Recently, I searched about one hundred eighty cards in two giant retail stores looking for the Happy Father’s Day, Stepfather! cards, and found only two. In May, I found the same slim pickings where the Happy Mother’s Day, Stepmother! cards should have been. Empty as a ghost town. Tumbleweeds rolled by.
With recent Pew Center research suggesting that four out of ten marriages these days are remarriages for one or both of the spouses and that many of the newly married couples are forming step-families, these retailers are missing a huge market segment.
At the big stores, we need two sets of cards.
1. One could be from the wives, and would say things like:
Thank you for:
- stepping up to this role and putting your shoulder into it, even though it’s not easy
- insisting my daughter learn how to change a tire
- reminding me to stay calm and cordial with my ex
- helping me hold the line when the boys are late for curfew
2.The other cards could be from the children. At their mother’s urging and probably with their mother’s money, the kids would buy the cards and hand them to their stepfather with a mumbled, “Thanks.” But, there would be digital subtitles to the cards like in the foreign films that would interpret what the kids really meant, such as:
- treating Mom and us so well
- not trying to replace my real Dad
- not letting me push you away when it probably wasn’t you I was mad at
- taking me to the Father-Daughter Valentines Dance
With or without the cards, this year let’s make a bigger deal out of the stepfathers.
Bake him a red velvet cake or a bacon-wrapped meatloaf. Fry him up some chicken like his Mama used to make. String a “Thank you for All You Do” banner across the kitchen.
Remember to say Happy Father’s Day to friends and colleagues who are stepfathers. Send them this link. Biological Dads, you might thank your kids’ stepfather. After all, raising good kids these days takes the efforts of every willing and able step, ex, and biological parent.
Next Mother’s Day, we’ll go bigger for the stepmothers, too. Maybe we can get the Blue Angels to fly over our houses…
Drop me a line, below, and brag on your stepfather. Tell us what you do celebrate him on Father’s Day. I’ll share your stories, and maybe we’ll do an even better job of thanking him now and in the future.
Happy Father’s Day, Stepfathers!