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I walk with my neighbors. Our morning ritual visiting while our dogs visit.
I tell my neighbor how much motherhood suits her daughter. How the light in her smile reflects the ease with which mothering comes to her.
I tell them about the joy I felt after my first son was born just two years after losing both of my parents. How I reveled in having that mother-child relationship back in my life, even though it was the reciprocal of it. I would drive around in the car with my Tommy in the backseat and wonder what brought me joy before his arrival.
“Wake up Mommy! It’s a beautiful day outside!” he announced.
He had just gotten his big boy bed and though I heard him up, I still rested in my own bed vying for a bit more sleep.
In that moment, I realized that I had walked into his room every morning since he was born saying those exact words.
“Wake up Tommy! It’s a beautiful day outside!”
I initiated this divorce for many reasons.
One of them that I wanted my children to know the mother and the person that I had been my whole life. Not the sad, stressed, frustrated, and unhappy version staying in a marriage too long had created.
I wanted them to remember the mother who sat in the car singing every rainy day song she could think of on gloomy, rainy days. The mother who made ordinary days seem extraordinary by silly little celebrations. The mother who left them notes all over the house. The mother who let them skip dinner in favor of junk for family night movies. The mother who gave them ice cream for breakfast on their birthdays (my sister’s joyful influence) and hid their presents all over the house. The mother who woke them up before school to go on a donut field trip. The mother who rode bikes with them. And more, so much more.
I wanted them to continue to know the mother that was full of joie de vivre.
I remember one day during this divorce, my sweet youngest son Danny saying, “You’re not the same anymore.”
I don’t often choose to ignore something but the truth is I didn’t want to know exactly what he meant. I just wanted to strive to get back to the mother he knew his whole life. I wanted to get back to the three of my boys snuggly sitting in the back seat, while my impish, happy middle son, Billy simply delighted in the adventure and not even our destination.
I’m not completely there yet. I’m getting closer.
I know that I am happy that I left a bad relationship. My children deserve no less than the very best of me and only I could make that happen. This divorce has been rockier than my marriage. It has shown a less than favorable side of me to my children. A reaction to the games and stress and worry that I have for them.
I am getting closer.
To reintroducing my children to the mother who knew immediately just how much motherhood suited her.
And that every day with them is a beautiful day!
(Photos courtesy of Pexels)
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