Leonard, seventy-seven, looks me straight in the eye and says “I called myself an assistant father, and I think that worked well,” suggesting that I advertise his suggestion to a wider audience. This is a gentleman who follows my blogs and, of all things, was impressed by the fact that as a freshman in college I won an award in Chemistry. Why that award struck him in a way in which he shared that with me is puzzling and intriguing to me. I am not sure how me winning that award gives him more confidence in me as a therapist, but he seemed to suggest it did. As I probe about what it means to be an “assistant father” he explains that other people in his situation call themselves step-father, but that term suggests that the step-father is an intrusive figure in the child’s life. By contrast, an “assistant father” is one who loves the kids, but agrees that he did not contribute to their biological being, hence putting him in second place. Sure, Leonard spent more time with his kids than the biological father did, but Leonard’s point was that the terminology of the “assistant father” allowed the kids’ biological dad, Dale, to openly communicate with Leonard, without feeling like he was being cast aside. Leonard’s pride in coming up with this new terminology reminded me of my pride in winning the Chemistry award. They both give recognition to dedication and hard-work. Maybe, now I understand why he highlighted that aspect of my profile. Speculative, of course, but interesting!