When Mike and I started dating over 4 years ago he had no idea what he was getting into. I had been a single mother for 12 years and the kids and I had an exclusive club that wasn’t really looking for new members.  When he entered our lives he was exactly who we didn’t know we needed to make this group complete. The 4 Storey’s (as we were called) did not make the application process easy for him. Hannah, who has a more selective taste in people, couldn’t help but be won over by him and Pace was very welcoming to the prospect of getting out of being the only male in our group.

The toughest critic of all was “The Noodle;” he had to pass her test before he was ever going to be allowed amongst the ranks. I took her swimming at his house and that didn’t impress her much. We went to parks and that didn’t do it either. It wasn’t until one evening she was staying the night that she found his guitar and wanted to play. I was downstairs at the time and when the two of them went into a particularly odd version of Mary Had a Little Lamb. (“The Noodle” at her precious 3-year-old stage was very concerned with bad words and when she wanted to express her disgust with you she would either call you an “eyeball” or a “forehead.”) So with Mike doing the cords and Brileigh strumming, they came up with “Mary Had a Little Eyeball.” This went on for more than 30 minutes. I knew at that moment he could stick around.

This issue is dedicated to all of you amazing fathers and mothers out there that work so hard at their most important career of being a “parent.”

Sincerely,

Christie Thomas