Dear Carolyn: I did something a couple of years ago regarding my two stepchildren that I’m not really proud of. Now I’m meeting with them to explain myself and I’m not sure I can.
I married their mother when my stepdaughter was 10 and my stepson was 8. I didn’t have much experience with children, but their father was out of the picture, so I did try to step up and fill that role as much as I could.
Shortly after our fifth anniversary my wife was diagnosed with lung cancer and she died nine months later. The kids and I struggled along until the school year ended, and then my mother-in-law invited them to stay for the summer.