Saturday, September 15, 2007

Thanks to him~

Welcome my son as my guest blogger. He wrote this for his freshman comp class recently. (He hates the picture.)
Thanks to Him
by David Douillette

Who does this guy think he is? I was six years old and my mom was taking me to my weekly soccer game one fall Saturday afternoon.I didn’t know anybody who lived on this side of Bridgewater, so when the man got out of the red Porsche parked on the side of the lot and started walking toward us, I had no idea who he was. Apparently my mom had told this man I had a game today and to stop by if he wanted to.

I came to see a lot of this guy I would eventually call Bruce over the next couple of weeks. I found out that my mother and he had met at the fitness center in Bridgewater and as you can probably guess, had become fond of one another. He started coming over every so often and my mother, sister, and I went over to his apartment sometimes too.

It was extremely hard on me every time I saw him and my mother do anything remotely affectionate toward one another. Whenever I saw them getting close, I would immediately leave the room. The sight of it was too much for me to handle at first.

My father had moved out of our house because of the divorce with my mother. Having another man around whom I did not trust at first was extremely difficult. This guy was a stranger to me, but the feeling of distance between us would not last very long.

If there’s one event that finally made me realize that he wasn’t “playing” father, it was one Saturday afternoon in the summer, not long after Bruce had moved in with us. My mother was out doing errands, he was mowing the lawn, and I was in the living room watching TV. Like any kid of that age, I had a vivid imagination. That Saturday afternoon, I was watching a movie that involved people climbing mountains.

I didn’t have any actual mountains in my living room to climb on. The closest thing to one was my sofa. I was climbing along the back like a cat trying not to fall down into the “valley” below, when I heard the door open. In walked Bruce who immediately saw me conquering the couch.

I didn’t have a chance. That was the first time he punished me. I got sent to my room for what seemed like forever. I was shocked when he first told me to go. He didn’t have the authority to punish me did he? I had to obey of course. I had been taught by my mother to respect my elders.

In my room I thought, I wouldn’t want my kid climbing all over the couch either. That’s when it hit me that he thought of me as his kid. Bruce could have come in and ignored me, thinking that I wasn’t his responsibility and just let my mother deal with me when she got home. He took charge and he did what he thought was right. That was the moment I knew he wasn’t “playing” father.

My mother is the strongest person I’ve ever met; and having her and Bruce in my life has molded me into the man I am today. Bruce hasn’t missed one of my sporting events since I met him. I played football, basketball, and baseball since I was ten, so to make every game isn’t an easy feat to accomplish. I’m going to be playing basketball in college and he vows to make everyone of those games as well. When we first met him he already had put his biological son through college. He was done being a father, and yet he chose to start all over again with two new kids. It’s impossible to convey how much that means to me.

There are times when a change in your lifestyle is all you need to accomplish your goals. Bruce gave me the tools that I needed. He didn’t move in with us thinking,
“I’m going to give this kid and his sister a better life.” He fell in love with a woman and just happened to get close to her two kids as well. In the process, her two kids grew fond of him too.

I will never stop loving my real father, but Bruce has made an impact on me that I will never forget. My stepfather has taught me discipline, hard work, and many other qualities that I probably don’t even realize yet. I appreciate everything he’s done for me and I thank my mother for meeting him in the first place. With him, my life changed for the better. Bruce changed the way I think; he and my mother are the most influential people in my life, and will be forever.

I hope you have someone in your life that you think of the same way.


Janice Thomson said...

Wow this almost had me in tears. What a wonderful tribute to a step-dad and what a wonderful son to recognize the qualities this man had. You are lucky Ruth to have such good person's in your life.

sc morgan said...

David- I see your mother and Bruce raised a writer as well as a basketball player. When you say: "It’s impossible to convey how much that means to me," I beg to differ with you. You did that very well in this essay and I'm sure that Bruce feels that as well. Very nice essay and tribute to your family.

sc morgan said...

Oh, and I love the picture!

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for the nice comments. My mom just said that she wanted to publish the story and I did'nt have any reason to not let her. When the teacher first gave us the assignment, this was the only subject that came to mind. Thanks again.

Dave Douillette

rain said...

sniff- pass the tissues please. What a heartfelt and well written essay. Thank you.

Voyager said...

David, I am the Mom of a son who just started college, and I brought a stepdad into our household when my son was 15. So your essay touched me in so many ways. Thank you for your beautifully expressed thoughts.
As much as I enjoy your Mom's writing, I hope you will guest write here again.
And good luck this year in college!

Barbara said...

What a wonderful tribute to this man who has given you a second Dad! Not all divorce situations have such a happy outcome. It sounds like you have made all of your parents proud!

Gary said...

Make sure Bruce reads this, David.

We stepfathers often lament over the "should have beens" and "I wish I hads" of the job, and it's good to know sometimes the things we do have made a difference.

Alice Folkart said...

Ruth, David, and Bruce - I think that you have all gotten what you deserve!
I suspect too, from David's story, you have all made each other even better human beings. What a great good news story.

Rick Bylina said...

David...This was a slamdunk.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate everything that you guys have said and it gives me confidence to write more in the future. Dave Douillette

Anonymous said...

I appreciate everything that you guys have said and it gives me confidence to write more in the future. Dave Douillette