Note: I am aware I said I would not generally post on a Saturday, however a) I didn’t post yesterday and b) I’m on a train and don’t have anything better to do!
So, anyway, yesterday, having spent much of the day in the flat doing more unpacking and organising (following an hour sat in a coffeeshop reading the paper – a little treat), I readily agreed to go for a bike ride around Jesus Green and environs with the wee one after school. As we were unlocking our bikes one of the tutors came by. They commented on how nice the wee one’s bike is. Wee One’s reply was, “Thanks, I got it for Christmas off Daddy.” I am not convinced, based on the rest of the brief conversation, whether the tutor understood that meant I wasn’t responsible for it.
You see, as I think I’ve mentioned before, Wee One is my (step)daughter. I use those parentheses deliberately. For me there is a difference between saying step-daughter, which to me says “However much I care about her, I am aware, and wish to make clear to others, of the reality that she is not my daughter,” and saying (step) daughter, which seems to me to be saying “As far as I am concerned this child is my daughter who just happens to have been born before I arrived on the scene.” I realise this is, in some ways, a matter of semantics, and there are others who would take a different point of view.
When I introduce or discuss the wee one I (almost) always use the term daughter, yet when I introduce myself to those who already know Neve I always use my name or say step-dad. This is to make clear that she does have another dad, and when she says “Daddy” she is not talking about me.
Doing this can lead to much longer explanations later on, and even confusion when someone says “Are you going for a bike-ride with Daddy?” or something similar, only to be quite clearly told “That’s not Daddy, that’s (Nomad)!” However, I will continue the habit of avoiding the term step-daughter. She will always be my daughter and the (step) bit will always be incidental. If that leads to confusion on the part of others then so be it – families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in this world of ours.
May you and your family, in whatever shape or form it takes, travel well,