Sometimes…I wonder if it may not benefit us, to step back and ask ourselves…what would I do if I was the one who felt they were wronged or being replaced?..Give ourselves an honest answer, understanding we may not like it then move forward from there. Not every mother is out to get someone, out to banish the stepmother into another dimension, or out to make their ex husbands lives a living hell…it does happen yes, it has happened…however I alone am in control of how I move forward from here.
Understanding that over the past 25 years (OMG), there have been moments of clarity, moments of regret, and moments where I wished the earth would crack and swallow the brats and no I do not mean my children…I also know as I’ve matured and lived this life, that no amount of education, preparation or imagination could have ever prepared me for…nor made me into the the parent or person I am today…parent in the form of step, bio and Court appointed.
Yes my marriage failed, but it failed because I was a naive young woman who thought I could save the world…not realizing I may have to save myself when the time came. In a divorce there is always another side to the story…the wife, the husband, the child..and the unmitigated truth that lies in between the biases, hurt, anger, loss, grief and selfishness.
What I know to be true as a 45 year old, is far from that of a 20 year old.
Person I am in the form of if i was asked to describe myself…my short answer would be Divorced, Educated,Imaginative, Creatively Sarcastic Mother of Many, Family orientated, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, and Mamo, an Occasional screw up, Selfless yet selfish at the same time, Romantic…did I mention Creatively Sarcastic?
That would be my short description, yet is does not define who I am, or who I have become. That alone is based on life experiences, events and education along the sometimes crooked path. Who I am is based upon a variety of life experiences, lessons learned both good and bad, and events that I have had the pleasure of taking advantage of throughout the past 45 years. (If you ask me I will reply with a quick smile that I am 39.95 plus shipping and handling…taxes go up every year and so does shipping and handling!) I am who I am based on tears, laughter, angst, anger, grief, drama, peer pressure, marriage, child birth and death. I am not perfect, I am not imperfect…I am a person with feelings, thoughts, emotions, biases and beliefs. I can be opinionated, I can be hyper, full of joy, and full of sadness sometimes all at the same time…but each time is a lesson learned, a page turned in this book that is my life.
I have wasted time in this life carrying baggage that was both mine and not mine to carry. I have embraced new experiences, and for the sake of sanity abandoned some…but at no point have I ever stopped and said “I give up”. I have opened doors to new experiences, and likewise I have closed some on the memories that just lead towards a dark place I chose not to go towards. My children, all of them…from my stepdaughter right down to my youngest have taught me lessons along the way. My ex husband in his own way taught me things that I never believed possible…and there are days I will laugh when I find myself caught in the middle of doing something, cursing him and his head full of ‘useless knowledge’. I kid with my children that the neon sign on my front door saying Drop your child here is seen by everyone but me…yet they shake their head, and trust me when I open that door and offer what help we can. I find that although it may involve stress, angst and tears…in the end it is one person that needed a hand, and I did what I could. I have taught my children that buying the homeless man in McDonald’s a meal because he is sitting there looking miserable as they enjoy themselves…is the right thing to do, and they are proud when they share the memories of baking, cooking, wild water fights, sleepovers, tents in the living room even though they know I will be up in the morning cleaning like a fiend. The pocket change spent as we share a treat from that infernal Ice cream truck (someone tell me WHY he comes at 5 pm?)…sometimes it is OK to have dessert first! I have taught them that it is OK to talk to one another even if I may not be talking at the time…I have taught them, that no matter what the door will never be closed, the book will never stop turning pages, and the people that touched our lives in a positive or negative way…left an opportunity to teach us one more thing. I have been adamant in my educating them on not choosing their friends based on sexual, religious, financial or racial differences…ignorance starts at home and grows outside of it.
One day the children will have all moved out, even though they swear they are staying til they are 40…the older one have moved out, moved on and are creating their own footprint. They will have their own stories to tell, their own events that shape who they are, as previous ones shape who they are right now…and I will sit back, smile and watch as the story unfolds One page at a time, because although my role as their parent will never cease, it will be my joy to share in their adventure.