OK so maybe that is not the best title for a blog post, but it’s true. I hope you two are to the moon-and-back spoiled—spoiled spoiled spoiled. No, not with any (and I mean that) material things, which mean squat in my book—but in love [all the love life can possibly give you].
On one of her last days in this physical world—your great grandmother, Muriel, holding my hand looked at me from her hospice bed, smiled, and told me that the only thing that mattered in her life was L.O.V.E (LOVE)—but I already knew that, not because it was one of the last things she ever told me and then I suddenly knew that about her or changed my world view, but because that’s how she proactively showed me in the 28 years I knew her. By watching her, I saw the way she lived her life: loving her husband, sons, animals, and those closest to her, giving to those who would never be able to give back to her, and genuinely caring about (all) other living beings from the goodness of her heart and putting forward a positive, authentic, albeit sarcastic vibe, back out into the world.
Love—that’s it. That’s the end game. It really is that simple.
Your father and I decided to part ways 12+ months ago now, the divorce papers have been (amicably) signed, and our marriage will be officially over (legally) come August 16th. So much has changed—and we’ve both grown so much and addressed many hard truths about love and life—but the greatest truth we’ve come to is how much we love the two of you [with every fiber of our beings], how grateful we are to have met, married, and loved one another for the time we did, if for no other reason than it brought us the both of you. Yes, we are (very) biased, there’s no doubt about it. To us, you are perfect. You have come first in our lives from day one. You will continue to come first every day–forever. There is not a day in our lives where that fact will ever change.
This year has taught me more than I ever could ever fathom about the true meaning of love, the real thing, the best thing this life could ever give you, that is, only if you’re open, honest, and allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to receive it. As hard as this year has been, in retrospect, I honestly wouldn’t change the lessons it taught me or what it brought me, for anything in this world. This year gave me back to myself. It gave me back my ability to love: genuinely, authentically, vulnerably, and with my entire heart + soul—with self-love and self-care at the very core of the equation. That point is key–and unfortunately, what I, and so many of us lose grasp of when we’re trying to be everything to everyone around us in this crazy, busy life we pretend will only be great if we externally look the part– even if things aren’t so picturesque internally.
Loving me first and foremost allowed me to love you, your dad, your doggy siblings, others, and this crazy beautiful life so purely—enabling me to see things and the bigger picture (so much) more clearly–to forget about the rest. Literally, I allowed it to all wash away. That stuff, that clutter (physical and emotional), the stuff society teaches us to care about, yeah none of it matters.
Your dad and I, our lives have gone in different directions (romantically)—you two even recently met his (now no longer “new”) girlfriend [and it is actually a good thing, I think, I hope]. You have started this new chapter of your lives separate from the one you’ll share with me; and I can honestly now say that I’m content, even happy, with it. Before meeting you two, his girlfriend and I tried to meet each other—I wanted to meet her so I could tell her the things I want her to know; But life—it is busy and we instead were only able to message back-and-forth.
She seems so genuinely excited to be a part of your lives—and that’s more than I ever needed to know (meeting her in person or not). Similarly, I want her to know, truly know, that I fully accept her (and if it ends up not being her, whoever your dad chooses) to be in your lives for the long run—to be another “mom” figure to love you, to help guide you in this life and hone you into the people you’ll be one day, to live this beautiful life alongside you—without any jealously or animosity on my end, just an honest (and necessary) change in life scenery. At the end of the day, I truly trust your dad’s judgement and if this relationship makes him happy, I’m happy for him—and for you two.
The more people that (genuinely) love and adore you two—the better in my eyes. I think you two, along with every child walking this earth, deserve all the love your little hearts can hold, to have security in knowing how loved you are no matter where you are (physically).
I hope you know that two homes doesn’t (and never will) mean “broken.” Conversely and in our circumstances, it actually means “fixed” or “whole again.” You are whole. Our family is whole. And you will be loved immensely from two households–our “modern family” if you will.
How lucky are you? To be 100% honest: very. You two are so loved. Your dad and I are rising above and embracing what we feel in our hearts is important: YOU, love, happiness, authenticity to ourselves, our needs, our romantic relationships, our work, and every person we choose to have in our lives.
L.O.V.E. It really is that simple– if you let it be.
I’ve been so busy figuring out this crazy thing called “life”—being in the midst of (one hell of) a life, self, spiritual, career, period of exploration and growth, that I haven’t put much time/effort into the love part of life’s equation. Yes, I’ve dipped my toes in sometimes too quickly, sometimes reluctantly, definitely naively–each time realizing I wasn’t ready in that moment in time. The person I love (and will hopefully choose) someday deserves (so much) more/better than that. When people ask, I jokingly tell them that I’ll be “single for life,” “never dating again,” or my more plausible response: I’ll be THAT “crazy dog lady,” which let’s be honest, most people probably believe/assume to be true. Kidding aside, I know and (with all my heart) hope none of those are true. I hope life gives me another chance— I genuinely want to love again— but I also know things are different now: VERY different now. I am different now. My life is different now.
You two come first—and as far as biological kids are concerned, you two are it for me. I’m 33 and “cut off” (self-imposed)—I am more than content with you two, I truly do not want more of my own (biological) children, which is a whole other puzzle to navigate in this “modern” dating world, esp. still being so young. I realize my honest/actual “dating pool” (when I am ready to get serious) is much smaller than most and I have to be more selective than my non-divorced/non-parental peers—I don’t expect it to be easy, finding someone who either already has children and doesn’t want more of their own (biologically)– or someone who is content (and emotionally ready) to love you two as another rock-star “dad” figure in your lives– joining the “modern family” that we’ve recently created–and be truly OK with that. I don’t imagine it to be easy or quick–and I’m not ready to rush anything, anythinggg. If it doesn’t make me happy or bring me peace of my mind– it definitely is not worth my time.
So, back to my point, I’m getting there–one day, one step, one awkward (I’d probably rather be home with my kids, dogs, and Netflix until a man blows me away) date at a time. 😉
And I’m more than fine with that. The pieces are falling together, whatever puzzle picture that ends up looking like one day, I’m hoping to find my happy place– and if a man does come along, I hope he, whoever he ends up being, is amazing—and loves you two as much as I do (if that’s even possible?!) Who knows, but I’d like to think so. I’ve never been a believer that biology makes a parent– I have two wonderful step-parents and many pseudo-family members (family by choice). Step-parents, if they’re anything like what I’ve experienced in my own life, can be absolutely wonderful.
At the end of the day, it’s all about time, commitment, and most importantly, L.O.V.E.
Life is crazy, sometimes heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, so GD amazing and beautiful that it constantly both amazes me and revives my soul—reminding me that my having patience in life and love will be so worthwhile in the end.
I love you, my two always-and-forever “number ones.” Thank you for everything—literally, everything. You teach me more than you’ll ever realize. I love to the moon and back and I will spoil you (with love) forever,
[To those curious or interested: The “Left Expecting” blog post has moved to its own domain and is now separate from the kiddos’ letters: Leftexpecting.com. As I work through this chapter of my life, I’m writing (a lot) in the hopes to heal and help others in similar stories by being transparent in my own– this book thing may be happening