Stephen and I met on a blind date. It was just so I could hang out with someone. He lived in New York and literally lived under the wing of a plane as he flew all over. We were never going to be together after this one week. Stephen included the kids in everything we did that week, and the kids were hooked. Stephen would call and we became great friends. More important to this story, the kids thought he was the bomb diggity. Actually, we all did.
I dated other people once Stephen returned to New York. None of them met the kids because I didn't want the kids to see these strangers coming in and out of the house.
I eventually found a guy I kinda liked, he had a great job, dressed beautifully, and spoiled me. So, I introduced him to the kids. Lexie took one look at him and put a plan to work. She went to her room and grabbed her "lifesized" Barbie. The doll was 3 feet tall and naked. She brought the doll out and plopped it next to Vince. Vince was uncomfortable and told her the doll needed clothes. Lexie's reply, my mom has a boyfriend named Stephen. Stephen likes naked dolls so I don't have to dress her (the statement was just wrong on so many levels :) that pretty much was my clue that this was not the right guy
We would travel with Stephen anytime he'd stop somewhere long enough. Stephen and I remaining friends, until finally, Stephen would fall in love with the kids, and finally me. (It did actually kind of go that way)
Two years later, we'd all become a family. The girl and her dad would be the 2 Amigos. They'd travel all over towing boats, delivering planes, and making Stephen's job an adventure to the umpteenth degree.
Lexie would be blessed by a dad and a brother who would watch over her and protect her with the fierceness that most boys would run from. She would always have the best of the best for a boyfriend, because they'd have 2 men with very high standards that few met.
Somewhere in this place they call Heaven, she's teaching them how to play because work is overrated. It's what her dad taught her, and she for sure drank the kool-aid.