A photo of a Texas toddler posing with her dad and stepdad-to-be before a father-daughter dance is going viral for a great reason. In the Facebook post, “bonus dad” Dylan Lenox shares how he’s learned to embrace their unique family situation.
“When we care more about our children (on both sides of the party) than the way society has taught us to be towards (ex’s/baby mommas/daddy’s) then walls will fall, life will be free of hatred and remorse, and our children will conquer the foolish “norms” that media has shoved in our faces,” Lenox, who will soon become a stepfather to five-year-old Willow, wrote.
Biological dad David Mengon told TODAY that when he first met ex-wife Sarah Mengon’s now-fiance, it was hard to see their daughter with another man. But “as I got to know him and find out who he was as a person and realized it was never a competition of ‘who’s the better dad,’ I started to gain a lot of respect for him.”
In Lenox’s post, shared last Saturday, Lenox adds that “[David] is and will always be apart of my life for the simple fact that we share the same daughter!” and that “not only did I gain a daughter, I gained a brother and a best friend.”
Our daughter Willow. You may never know how your love has changed us all. The guy to the left is myself (Daddy, Daddy…
Dylan, however, wants to remind people that his family is “far from a fairytale.” And while it’s still hard sometimes to hear Willow call another man “Dad,” he explained to TODAY that “when you have respect for a person, you can let go of that animosity or that jealousy or that pride a little bit and just say, ‘This is someone else to protect them when I’m not around.'”
He added, “As long as we’re equally supporting and loving, that’s all that matters.”