DEAR ABBY: In 1985 I met a lovely divorced lady with two adorable children. The three of us got along well. A year later I married into this family. Until then I had no children of my own.
The kids had regular visits with their father. The first Father’s Day after I married their mom, we arranged for them to spend the weekend with him. When they returned home that Sunday night, they were exhausted and off to bed they went.
I did some thinking about the idea of celebrating holidays and realized there are holidays in every month except August. (Even a rodent gets his day in February.) My family and I discussed it and came up with the idea for a Step Parents’ Day on the second Sunday in August. When that day arrived, we all went to church and then to brunch. The kids gave me cards and a nice gift. It was a wonderful day, and it became a tradition every year after that.
I wrote a letter about it to our mayor. He sent me back an official-looking document with his signature proclaiming the second Sunday in August to be Step Parents’ Day in our city. It was gratifying.
Abby, your readers in blended families may want to observe this special day, too. – Step-Dad in Ohio
DEAR STEP-DAD: Your letter made me smile. When I went online to learn more about it, I discovered that, for more than 20 years, there has been a National Step-Family Day observed on Sept. 16. You may want to consider adding it to your calendar because it’s a day that celebrates all members of the blended family, not just the parents.
DEAR ABBY: My future sister-in-law, “Leta,” and her daughter came from overseas to visit for a few weeks. It was their first time in the U.S. They had never met my family, and I decided a bowling excursion would be a good way for them to meet my sister “Eileen” and her family. We all had a great time.
Later that evening, Eileen sent me a text saying a friend of hers was recently diagnosed with lipedema and Leta may have it as well, based on her body type. I ignored the text but didn’t think to delete it.
A few days later my fiancée saw the text. Now she’s furious with my sister. My fiancée says Eileen was “rude and judgmental,” and she shouldn’t judge someone she just met because Eileen isn’t in the medical profession. Eileen says she was only pointing out something she had noticed and wanted us to know in case my future sister-in-law ever complained about it. Was my sister out of line to do it? – Stuck in the Middle
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: Not knowing Eileen, I won’t accuse her of being rude or judgmental. Her motive may have been pure when she mentioned her concerns in light of her friend’s diagnosis. While your fiancée had a point when she said your sister doesn’t have the expertise to make a medical diagnosis, the text that upset her was meant for you, not her, and she shouldn’t have been reviewing it without your permission.