I remember many of the days that lead up to asking my ex husband for a divorce. It’s funny how lots of people go through the same cycle pre-divorce. It starts out with tears and confusion once you realize your marriage isn’t going to last much longer. Then you move into the desperation stage where you try to fix everything to get the other person to realize what they’re losing. Finally, after much head-banging, you get to the point where you see your worth and see what you deserve, and you get the cojones to move on. I got to that point a few weeks before I deemed the marriage over. My ex and I were standing at the front door of our home (well, it was my home at the time, because he was living with his mother in her downtown condo). I was telling him good-bye after a quick visit with the kids. I looked him straight in the eye and and said something that I will always remember–and he probably will to.
I said, “Remember, one day there will be a man who loves me and adores me and he’ll raise these kids, every day, in this house, and you’ll get to see them every-other weekend. That’s the choice YOU made!”
He looked me and replied with a somber, “I know.”
That day has come. It’s been just-over a year that this wonderful man has been in our lives. He’s crazy about me. And I’m crazy about him and so are my kids. He doesn’t have to connect with my kids. There’s no rule in the step-parent handbook that says you MUST participate with your step-children. I know people who have actually chosen to keep two separate houses so when the husband has his kids, he LEAVES and goes to “his house” with his kids. Yep, crazy! But we are parents who love each others’ kids like our own. We are making a conscious effort.
This past weekend, Brandon and I were at my daughter’s first out-of-town softball tournament in St. George. She was super-excited to go and put in a special request to go alone with the two of us. Brandon was engaged with my daughter’s playing and her performance. He worked with her between games on blocking the balls as they were delivered to her at catcher. He gave her calm, positive instruction on how to be better and how to believe in herself. I watched and my heart swelled as I saw this. To see a man love in this capacity is everything I’d hoped for (and let’s face it–that’s just sexy as hell!). He also told every girl on the team that if they could make it through the first round of the batting order with no strike-outs, he’d take all of them out for Blizzards. And, guess what? They did it! And he delivered! Ellie had a great tournament, and her team ended up taking 3rd place! And Brandon was right by my side screaming and yelling through every home run and every time she threw out a runner at 2nd base. And her dad missed it.
My ex husband once told me, “I’m just sick of the same-old, same-old shit with life and these four kids. It’s time for me.” I couldn’t understand why someone would say such a thing. But he obviously envisioned his life differently than it was looking to turn out. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t come to their out-of-town tournaments. I’m not sure why, but that’s not my concern. As for me? After getting remarried, learning to trust again, and opening up my heart to something wonderful, I see the family I’d always wanted. It may look a bit different than my original vision, but it’s all mine.
If you’re divorced, or you’re a single parent (or both), trust that there will be someone out there who will love your kids as his/her own. They can come in the forms of coaches, friends, or spouses. Those people are out there. And by being positive and living your life, you’re bound to find them.