The boys in my life: Tom calls him Best Mate. Ian makes him pass the "tickle test".
Entering a new relationship with 2 children already in tow is challenging to say the least. Ian and I have been together since Tom turned 4. Over a period of months, I slowly introduced them to each other, the next meeting lasting longer than the one before. Soon Gracie and Tom began to ask when we would be seeing Ian again. Soon Ian began nick-naming them Gin and Tonic.
The way Ian has slipped into our lives has been so admirable. There have been many challenges, raising a little duo is already a tough gig in it's own right. But never has anything phased him, whenever I have felt overwhelmed or frustrated (which is inherent in co-parenting), Ian has always offered me soft words of strength, kept my mind open and centred me.
Little Tom has grown like him in so many ways. Both with a love of anything caramel, fishing, surfing and morning coffee stops. Both gentle and considerate. Both comedians. Both mine to love.