Saturday, April 4, 2009

Absolutely Making The Grade

This cutie is Melissa; my Step Daughter. The one you hear me mention so often. Neither of us like the word, 'step,' that is used to describe relationships like ours. Does anyone know the genesis of that title, Step Mother/Step Daughter? Icky..... We simply don't use it. Did away with it. I refer to her as my daughter; my nick name for her is, Step Headed Red Child, a play on the Red Headed Step Child business. She calls me, WSM or Wicca'd Step Mother, as a play on the witchy rap most Step mothers get in fairy tales. I love the play on words! Pretty fun.

If you are dear to me, most likely you'll acquire a nick name. Not unlike The Queen proffering a royal title on you. It'll always be something nice, something you'll like, and you won't mind that I call you that. It's my way of helping you remember your singular importance to me.

Last night, Michael and I drove up to Pittsburgh, except if you live here, you say, "Drove down to the City," although how one can arrive 'down' at a point that geographically rests north, is still a mystery. But, I digress...

We battled the rush hours traffic and the torrents of rain to meet Melissa, Zach, and Opie at Point Park University. Where we applauded her induction into the Alpha Chi Society. How marvelous! Like many talented people, Molly, (that's her other nick name given by her Pittsburgher friends, Molly Mac. Hmm, maybe she's in the witness protection program and I didn't know...") hasn't had many moments standing victoriously in the spot light. Moments when her achievements and energy have been acknowledged. Moments that she deserves. So, last night she had a rare few and I say, "Wonderful!"
For those who aren't familiar with Alpha Chi, this honor society was started in 1922. It has a long history of scholastic excellence and service. At each college, each year, a handful of students are inducted. Each receives a medal and pin, and adds their signature to the university's registry; combining their unique signature to the history of those who have come before. What a meaningful tradition.

A consistently high grade point average is required to be a member of Alpha Chi. And, for Melissa who is returning to college a second time, it's a public acknowledgement of her willingness to try again. To do better now that she knows better. To effectively invest herself in a process. To grow through a better understanding of what is required to be successful. And, now everyone knows how much you've accomplished, My Daughter! Huzzah!!

Isn't it wonderful to see someone you care about reach such a significant mile stone? Witness them get the recognition they deserve? Share the moment with them? Life doesn't get much better, I say...

Of course, if you think I'm proud, that in no way begins to cover the feelings Michael has for his daughter. But, then again the bond between daughters and their dads defies easy description. Let's just say, he is quite pleased. Melissa, we are very proud of you!

Enjoy your weekend. Ours got off to a great start last night with honors, energy acknowledged, wisdom gained, and bright blessings in laughter and loved shared.

Hope you find the very same.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka WSM


beth said...

congrats to your step-daughter...and I agree with you...where did that "step" come from anyhow ???

and somethng I hadn't thought about..."that only the loved ones get nicknames"....THAT IS SO TRUE !!!

cinner said...

That is so awesome for Melissa. Good for her. I always said I was going back to school, but never did.
Your right too about nicknames, Something I had not thought about before. Thanks for keeping my brain working, yeah....!

Eileen said...

Kevin Leland of "Factoider" Website says this:

"I don’t like the etymology of the word “step”. It comes from “steop” meaning deprived, or bereaved. Modern psychology likes to say “stepfamilies are born out of loss” This idea and feeling about a step relationship gives an already confusing and complicated family dynamic a negative connotation. Because in today’s culture the loss that these step relationships are born from is usually caused by divorce and remarriage, it’s assumed that the “real” parent is still around and probably causing problems. It is looked at as less than the ideal and outside of God’s will. One man, one woman bound in Holy Matrimony, raising the children they procreate, together under one roof is the ideal. That can’t be denied, it is God’s will. But do these ideal circumstances automatically bring about ideal relationships completely within God’s will? I don’t think so.

Some people think the word “step” describes how the new parent suddenly “stepped” into the life of the child and the place of the biological parent. This connotation isn’t any improvement on the outlook. This is why I like the word “foster” in place of step. The etymology of this word hits closer to the mark of what it means to be a father to a non-biological child. Foster means to nurture, support, feed, bring up."

I'll keep digging and see if I can come up with anything more but this gives you Mr. Leland's answer.

Please share with Melissa by words of congratulations on a job well done! Loved the addition of the family photos in today's blog.

Holly said...


Leave it to you to do the investigation. Thanks so much. And, I hope that I foster a sense of family continued with this wonderful gang of mine. It's an interesting thing to be the newest member of something so deep.

Opie said...

I guess with the definition of "foster," that would make Holly a foster mother for all of us who follow her blog. Thank you Holly, and congratulations Mo, every one who knows you is proud.

Whitney said...

Congrats to Melissa!! How exciting and what an honor!

Helpful Buckeye said...

In addition to your wonderful dogs, you also have a pretty special "human" family! Congrats on keeping them all in good shape!

Helpful Buckeye
Flagstaff, AZ

melissa said...

Aw jeez...

Thanks, guys. *blush*

I'm lucky to have such great role models for persistence and determination in my family. Not to mention all the amazing support!

See you 'round the blog...

Toni said...

Step, pfffft ... I like your twisted nicknames WAYYYYYY better! hee! got a nice chuckle out of Wicca'd Stepmother. claps and more claps for Melissa (& See? she is an example of why it's so difficult for me to retain the name Melissa for my critic self) ... anyway, happies to you all, Michael REALLY looks delighted!

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