As difficult as life has been over the past 6 or 7 years, when I really stop to think about it, I know that despite the difficulties (and there have been many), I’m also pretty stinkin’ fortunate. A big spotlight was shone on this yesterday afternoon, when I sat down with CBG, my ex husband, and my girls’ teachers for parent-teacher meetings.
Both girls got glowing reviews. Glowing! And it really made this momma pretty stinkin’ proud.
During Kiddo’s appointment, I mentioned to her teachers that I felt we had it pretty easy with her, since she is very good about taking responsibility for always getting her homework done. I mentioned that because she is at each house for 50% of the time, there is a lot of potential for chaos. Both teachers told us that there was absolutely no evidence of her having any problems at school because of this.
That was always one of my big worries. That I was somehow screwing up my kids because I didn’t want to be married to their father anymore. That maybe what that dark voice inside me said — maybe I am selfish for getting a divorce. That conversation yesterday really helped lay those fears to rest — at least for a while longer.
As much my ex and I have experienced difficulty in the past — and still do from time to time — I am grateful that the three of us are able to sit together in room at a place like parent-teacher meetings. It’s important for CBG to be there; he is as influential in the girls’ lives as their father and I. I him in their sense of humour and certain turns of phrase that they use. I see it in their values and the things they hold dear. He is providing them with yet another example of how a man should behave. Together, he and I are demonstrating what love and marriage is. He is an important adult in their lives.
Becoming a stepdad wasn’t something that came easily or naturally for CBG. It took time and effort — for him and for my girls, too. In the past he struggled with his ability to step-parent; we don’t always see eye-to-eye on every single thing. He is also a different kind of parent than their dad is. But different is good, particularly when it comes from a place of love; it is good for them to know that there are different ways of relating to one another and many different ways of showing love.
Because he loves them. And they love him right back. He brings many wonderful things to their lives: laughter, silliness, compassion, enthusiasm, kindness, respect.
When we all parted ways yesterday after the parent-teacher meetings, the girls went off with their dad and CBG and I headed back to work. But not before we both got big hugs and kisses and “I love yous”. When I became a single mom, I did it without a clear picture of what my life would someday look like. But now that I am here, it is better than anything I ever could have conjured up for myself and my girls.