Class is a tough quality to describe, but Joe Paterno had it. I have heard it said that you can’t describe class, but you know it when you see it. I think class comes when you are living from your essential self. You know what you stand for and your values are clear. When you live from this place, people feel it. They know you really care and they know that you will always tell you the truth. Joe Paterno was that straightforward guy.
As a stepmom, I have found that knowing yourself and living from your true core is critical to stepmom success. Getting to that place is painful and tough. I often think that it is this journey that makes many hate the job of step parenting. When you come from this essential place, your straightforward feedback is appreciated.
Being an Educator
Joe Paterno was an educator. His main class may have been on the football field, but he taught all of us about what was important: Your education, Your family and Your values.
I have written previously about asking yourself what business you are in as a step parent. Some of us may be educators. We can teach a great deal by our actions, not our lectures.
A Broad Definition of Family
Joe saw the entire Penn State student body as his family. Students came and went out of the Paterno home. His wife cooked for the students and offered cookies at their door. I remember that and I was an ordinary student, certainly not an athlete. Somehow, you just knew you were part of the family.
I always wanted my kids to know that we were now a big, huge family. Blended families are so lucky to have such a big crowd that includes bio parents, step parents, kids bio and step and all of the extended families. It is such a gift. Embracing the entire gang is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our kids. Just like Joe Paterno did for the students at Penn State.
Joe, our hearts broke today. You will be missed.
Dedicated to my PSU family.