13 years ago, today, I went on my first date with my husband at a bar. It was the best first date I had ever been on. 2 years later he proposed and 1 year and a month after that, we were married. We made it nearly 10 years. We made it through 4 homes, 3 miscarriages, an ectopic pregnancy, the birth our son, the loss of some friends, the death of my father, 4 years battling alcoholism and depression, a stint in rehab and 2 years of recovery but I just could not make it through any more. I couldn’t trust anymore. I couldn’t sacrifice any more. I couldn’t find my way back.
So, here I sit on my sixth night alone in my home. The house we built together. The house I will raise my little boy in. The sixth night that my sweet boy is spending the night at his father’s place. That sounds so foreign, his father’s place… My sixth night coming to terms with the fact that my life has changed so much. Coming to terms with the fact that I have to forever share my little boy and I only get him part-time. Coming to terms with the fact that he does not deserve this. That he is so sweet and so kind and we have just turned his life upside down.
I was the one that choose this path. It was what I needed to do for me, but, man, is it hard. The mom in you never shuts down. Is he happy? Is he hungry? Is he having fun? Will he, one day, hate me for this? I hope that he understands. I hope that he will be happy. I hope that he, one day, knows that I was never going to be the mom I wanted to be when I spent most of my time pretending to be happy, trying to get back to that girl that fell in love 13 years ago. I want him to see me happy, truly happy. I want him to be happy with me. I want him to know I did this for him. I did this for us.
Life is not pretend. It’s real and it’s harsh and sometimes you are forced to make really hard decisions and they suck. But, you make them because you know it is what is best for you and for your amazing, little boy. You make them because you know that it is the only chance you have to live life not strapped down with a parachute so heavy you can hardly walk. You make them because you want to sparkle again and you know that this is your only chance.
So here I sit. The house is so quiet. The house is so still. There is no little boy to check on and no husband will be snoring. This is my new life. This is my time. And so I will take it. I will read more books. I will create more art. I will go on more adventures. I will give myself the freedom to enjoy this time. I give myself permission to cry, to process and to move forward. I see a glimmer of the girl I used to be. She has been missing for a while. I hope I get to meet her again soon.
And as quiet as it is now, it will be noisy in just a few days. My sweet angel will be home. I can’t wait to see him. I can’t wait for him to meet this new mom I am becoming. When you stop worrying about fixing something that is broken and start worrying about finding yourself, you realize, you were never really gone. You were just hidden underneath that heavy parachute. (Click to read more about my parachute.)
Well, I don’t have it anymore. I gave it away. I am no longer afraid of going down in that plane. The flight path is clear and I have the cutest little co-pilot. He is blonde and six and smart as can be. I am ready for the ride.
But, for now, I will sit and listen to the quiet and give myself a chance to mourn the past. It is gone forever. Things will never be the same. Life looks a lot different than I thought it would and that is okay. We don’t choose our path. God is writing the story. We may not know the reason, we just have to trust that he has a plan. And so, I will. I will pray a little more. I will laugh a little more and I will sparkle a little more. One day at a time, I will find my way.
It’s a strange thing to separate from someone after 13 years. It is so very hard but there is a weight that is gone. I may need a little extra support as I travel this new path but at least I can see what is in front of me. The fog has been lifted and there are smooth skies ahead.
I didn’t know when I started this blog that it would take me through two of the hardest things in my life. The death of my father and the separation from my husband, but I’m glad it is. Writing is therapy and my life kind is of a mess but it’s my mess and I love it. I hope that you are enjoying it to. Now, more than ever, I need to be reminded, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.
The Manicured Mom