Confessions of a Reluctant Stepdad

At first he found six-year-old Jim an irritant, but 25 years on, JAMES DELINGPOLE is proud to call him ‘son.’

  • James Delingpole claims taking on his stepson, Jim is one of his best decisions
  • 25 years ago, aged 26 he met his now wife who was 32 and had a six year old son
  • He became close to Jim through play-fighting and driving him to school daily
  • He shared how their family unit has changed over the past 25 years 

Sometimes I like to tease my wife that the only reason I managed to bag a woman so out of my league is that when we met, she came with a huge albatross round her neck: a six-year-old boy, Jim, from her first marriage.

I’m joking, but there’s an element of truth in this. No person in their right mind chooses to take on the responsibility for someone else’s child, especially not when they’re footloose and fancy-free. But that’s what I did 25 years ago and I’ve no regrets. In fact, becoming a stepfather was one of the best life-decisions I ever made.

My first glimpse of Jim was a pointy-featured face with red hair grinning at me from beneath his duvet, presumably just after bedtime, when I’d gone round to his mother’s pad for supper.

The Rat and Delingpole

Immediately, I christened him by the name which has stuck ever since: the Rat. He remembers being impressed by my rock-star-length hair and black leather coat. I remember being impressed by how grown up I was at the tender age of 26 to be going on a date with a woman with an actual kid. She was 32; we had met at a party.

Read the rest in the Daily Mail.