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  • Writer's pictureCamp Goldston Publishing, LLC

On Being a Stepdad

Written by Hassahn Phenomenon Liggins, Father’s Day 2020

I remember when I was in my 20’s, and I used to contemplate having children of my own. I also used to say that I would never marry a woman who has children already. The first thought never transpired into a reality for me. The opposite of the latter thought became my reality, but it also ignited a passion and joy within me that was not previously present. 

Before me saying those two words, “I do” that many long to hear, I was already involved in the lives of many young men because I always considered myself more of a mentor than a father. At some point, while my wife and I were on the dating stage, I had an awe-inspiring revelation as if God spoke to me directly. I thought to myself, if my purpose is to uplift others, then why not begin with the two incredible young men I had in front of me through this budding relationship with their mom?

In the beginning, my now wife and I took it slowly, bringing me into the lives of my two sons. My sons were approximately 8 and 9 years old at the time. 

Once I had the opportunity to spend significant time with them, a fire was lit inside of me that made me want to show up for them and anyone else who impacted their world. I invested time in building up myself first, my wife second, my children, and the community around and beyond through my mentorship of other young men and women. I also sought out building a relationship with their biological father. I wanted to be there for them in a way he couldn’t, and I was looking for him to reciprocate that same energy where I fell short. I’m happy to say, we have a good relationship, and that solidified by one simple text I received from him a few years back, when he simply said, “Thank you!” 

Fast forward to the present with many life lessons learned; I’m so very proud of my sons, who are 16 and 17 now. I cannot begin to describe the elation I feel when I look at the young men they have become. The happiness I’m speaking about comes from the little yet significant things. While working on a project, my youngest once said, “The person I most admire is Hassahn, because no matter what we do, he never gives up on us.” I can’t begin to tell you the uncontrollable tears I have shed privately due to absorbing my son’s words. Those unprovoked words let me know that everything I poured into us was appreciated. My oldest recently told his mom about a letter he received from a football camp, but he refused to open it until I arrived home because he wanted to share it with me. 

I’ve also overheard my oldest son praising me to his biological father, who he absolutely adores. I’m not one for receiving pats on the back or accolades for the things I feel I’m supposed to do, but those moments above really resonated with me.  

The boys know they are loved; they know I have me an open ear to allow them to communicate; they know they will be held accountable; they know I expect them to walk in the footsteps of the their kingly ancestors; self-love and self-respect are of the utmost importance. They know I expect them to treat women like Queens; they see the importance of giving back; they know it is ok for them to be emotional and vulnerable when needed; they know when and how to stand up for themselves and others; they know dreams become realities when followed by work ethic; and ultimately my sons know that while I allow them to call me by my name, they still know me as their father.  

The only “Step” in Stepdad, I will ever acknowledge is the steps I have taken to earn their trust, love, and support. Although I do not have biological children of my own, I don’t feel slighted at all because my sons are truly the greatest gift God has bestowed upon me.  

Hassahn Phenomenon 

Connoisseur of the Culture 

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