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by Abigail Van Buren

Tribute to Stepfathers Pays Homage to Overlooked Dads

DEAR ABBY: On Father's Day many stepdads are often underappreciated or excluded, so I wrote this poem to honor these unsung heroes. I hope you'll put it in your column, so my husband -- and other stepdads everywhere -- will know it was written for them. -- LESLEY STITT, ONTARIO, CANADA

DEAR LESLEY: In these times when blended families are common, your tribute is clever, appropriate, and certainly worth space in my column. Read on:


Hey, it's really not "your day."

I just don't know what else to say

Because, you see, you're just a "step,"

You're not her dad -- you're just a "rep,"

-- A stand-in really, rest assured

You're only there to be endured.

Oh! Unless she needs a ride,

Or someone there to take her side,

And please have money you can lend;

'Cause that's when you will have a friend.

She's NOT your daughter, though, be clear;

You're not her dad, just someone here.

There's really lots for you to do;

And you get all the "good jobs," too;

You get to worry when she's late,

Pick her up from her late date,

Comfort her when she's in tears,

And try to calm her teenage fears.

And you will get to love her, too,

Even though she won't love you.

You'll get to care for her each day,

And see my daughter doesn't stray

From rules that you will get to make --

She won't admit they're for her sake!

She thinks stepdads just aren't "fun,"

You're just as boring as her mom.

You're only there (you must concede)

To see that she's got all she needs!

Father's Day? Nah, she won't bother

Thanking you -- you're not her father!

So let me do it in her stead,

As I have done since we were wed.

Thanks for all the things you do,

And all you are -- I love you, too.

Happy Father's Day.