Today I am humbly reminded how love and support can come from the most unexpected of places. And I'm smiling.
We celebrated my oldest son last night as he embarks on his new journey into the Navy. It was the first time ever that I have converged many different friends and families into one room and experienced the profound effect of pure happiness.
If you've read my blog more than a day you know that my oldest son is from my first marriage. Subsequently, my ex remarried (as did I) and created a family with his second wife with three additional (beautiful!) daughters. Simple math will now tell you that my son has four sets of grandparents, four sets of aunts and uncles and cousins galore.
Mix in the fact my own brother was married several times and we have a few more "exes" to add to the family tree (along with of course nieces and nephews from each marriage).
Although my ex is no longer involved in my sons life and onto his 4th wife, his stepmother and her family love and support my son unconditionally still today. She and I have created a fantastic bond that is quite simple: we love the same boy. And he loves us. And we don't have to pretend like we don't or that we shouldn't simply because my son's bio dad is no longer in the picture. We are not jealous of one another, we do not compete with one another and we do not hurt one another with words or actions. We respect that this special boy loves us both.
She spoke to me at the celebration last night with some profound words that I think will stick with me for my lifetime. She told me once she understood that her responsibility in the equation of marrying a man with a child from another mother was to simply love the CHILD, calm and happiness ensued. She's right. When we all first remarried, we were all trying to control everything. I, of course, wanted complete control of my child, even when he wasn't with me. Because he's my child! Yes, my ex donated his sperm... but seriously, a mother's instincts are to be protective of their children. And sometimes that even applies towards the father. It becomes even more significant when divorce occurs and another woman moves in to try to love and parent the child. Mothers are not biologically designed to share the bond we have with our children. It doesn't make us evil, it makes us REAL. Insecurity and parenting are a common thread. None of us really know what we are doing and question ourselves all throughout the parenting journey.
So as I sit here today, I am reminded of how incredibly lucky I am. I bore a son and I didn't kill him. He lived. He is happy. He is healthy. He is secure in his faith. And he is LOVED more than I could have ever hoped.
It makes all of the negativity he has journeyed through insignificant. The people that have conditions in their love of him can jump off a cliff. They simply don't matter. Because everyone else that does love him, does matter.
I am so blessed and happy.
Have a great Saturday, friends!