So, I’m just going to go ahead and put this out there, cause I’m a putting it out there kinda gal: there’s something really strange about talking to your ex-husband about his new girlfriend moving in in the next few months. Like, “really strange” is not actually the appropriate word choice. Are there words?
Divorce continues to be this very two-steps-forward/three-steps-to-the-oh-fuck-where-did-that-come-from. I am a linear person. I like project plans and low-hanging fruit. I program manage a team of program managers for the love. So this? Just wow.
I am not sitting in a pool of regret, not even a little. I am enjoying my independence and freedom. I love date nights with my equally independent man-friend; he has his life, I have mine, and we find places to intersect and places to do our own thing. And it’s working. Weird.
I wouldn’t want to go back to the relationship where I just didn’t feel like myself. Where I was working SO HARD to keep the world spinning. And where my hard work was never reciprocated. No thank you, at all. No, sir.
There are times where I feel so very alone, even when surrounded by very well meaning people. It hits me at weird times, “wow I am the actual only person doing this right now. Parenting. Making decisions. Paying the bills. Doing the adult-ing.” I see people look past me, searching for my other half or glancing at my ring finger when we’re out and about doing activities that are squarely in the family-outing zone. Nope, just us, table for 3. Yes, yes I do have my “hands full,” thanks for noticing.
I had a really low moment recently after I realized that I don’t have an emergency contact. I know that sentence will cause a flood of “I’ll be your person!” texts and messages. I know, and I love you all for it. But my point is that there’s not one person who is obviously the appropriate person a team of doctors could call if a decision needs to be made or like, if I trip and fall on my face at a water station during a race cause drinking and running at the same time are not my strong suit.
I don’t have a lobster. That’s a scary realization. When that line appears on the gazillions of forms we have as parents, runners, travelers, chronically-ill… ? Well, it’s just really, painfully, glaringly, blank.
Here’s the flip side. I am a person who puts some undue pressure on herself. Mm’k, a lot. Like, all the pressure. And I have been banging around in my own, loud head about showing the kids what a really solid relationship looks like. My heart breaks when I realize that they don’t have an example to look to– and they don’t have a clear model of how a man should treat a partner. For some reason, this is the thing that is sticking with me. I guess it’s easier to worry about them, than about me.
So this girlfriend moving in (ack, all the ack)? While it makes all sorts of alarm bells go off and makes me want to just drown in a tub of ice cream soaked in white wine (oooh, there’s a concept, wine floats?! I digress), I also have a tiny twinge of hope. Teeny, tiny. What IF they are actually good together? What IF my boys are able to see their father loving someone appropriately? Or, at least, better than the last time?
The pressure would be OFF OF ME. I can do my independent man-friend, dating, living life THING, without feeling that squeeze. Truth is? I don’t know if I want to be married ever again. I don’t know if I even want to live with someone again. I like what I am doing right now.
Ok, we can unpack this in about a million different ways. First, likely my kids just need to be loved and feel secure, no matter the structure of our family. I know. But try telling that to my overactive brain. Give a whirl, it’ll be fun. I’ll make popcorn and watch.
Second, my kids at a basic level need happy, fulfilled parents. And if dating someone, but not like diving in full-frontal into the FAMILY zone, is what works for me today? Then they’ll have a happy mama who’s being loved. Just not in a cookie cutter way. And honestly, when have I EVER been cut into a cookie? I am like that misshapen ash tray we all made for our parents in the 80s before we knew smoking was bad.
Third, I know that I will die a zillion deaths the first night they spend in a home with their Dad and his new girlfriend living there. I will hate it. And I will worry the whole, entire time. I will call to check, a lot.
Sidenote: I will also avoid watching Dateline cause that shit terrifies me every, actual time. It’s always the single mom, the recently divorced or the spurned lover turned child-killer. I always watch it and I always should not.
But then, I will probably go over to my boyfriend’s house. And love watching our show together or grabbing a drink, enjoying the freedom to choose a relationship that works for me, right now.
Last night, before that call about the moving in, the boys and I saw a gorgeous rainbow reaching across the sky. I thought, “wow, beautiful. Thank you Universe, I hear ya. High five back at ya girl!”
And on the way home, with my brain reeling and my jaw clenched, there was another rainbow, only this one was even more brilliant.
The colors were perfect and it was a complete ark, end-to-end, reaching through the dark and swirling sky. And when I looked closely I saw another much lighter, also perfectly complete, rainbow hovering just outside the brilliant one. And I thought “Oh Universe, you sweet, wild thing you. This will be ok. I don’t know how. But it will be.”
I repeat: I don’t know how, but it will be. ❤