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14 Jun

birds on branch

It was Baby’s first birthday the other week, and a cause for celebration and delight. Yep. We made it through our first year as mom and son, and not only made it, we rocked. My gorgeous boy is starting to walk now. He has four teeth. He’s eating solids like a pro. He talks the sweetist gibberish you’ve ever heard. He calls me ‘maaaa’. He expresses affection by hugging me, pulling at my clothes and licking my face.

We make a great team, him and I. Who said families can’t have just two people in them? He does have a dad, and they’ve fallen into a routine of visitations that pleases me and gives me some time off, which completely transforms my week. But our core family for now is just us. And we’re doing splendidly.

We have excellent communication. Yes, I do realize he’s one. But he expresses himself beautifully using the limited tools at his disposal, and I manage to understand him most of the time. He’s patient, and “explains” himself again if I misinterpret his mumbles, squeals and growls. He knows that no matter what I will always listen to him, and be there for him, and he seems to have almost no fear of anything, which I find remarkable. I try to be a role model to him. I try to always tell him the truth about everything, even though sometimes it’s a version of the truth, tailored especially for him. I still have to figure out what I’m goiong to tell him about his dad and I when he’s old enough to ask.

Well, a little over a year has passed since my beautiful boy was born, and that makes it about 9 months since the separation. My desicion has finally been made, and this time I feel very confident. I told BD that I didn’t want to continue therapy. I told him I wanted a divorce. Not an easy conversation, as he was very persistant and asked me to reconsider again and again, just as before. Only this time I was equipped with new knowledge, a realization that it doesn’t matter if BD accepts, agrees or even understands my point of view. I realize now that I’ve been having such a hard time cutting loose from him, because for some reason I thought I needed him to understand why, to agree with me. The realization that I don’t need that has finally set me free.

Happy. In command. Empowered. Capable. Strong. Optimistic. Excited. Good things are coming and my arms are wide open to welcome them into my life. What a beautiful day, I told Baby this morning  on the way to daycare. The sky is clear, the birds are chirping, there are so many beautiful things for us to see, we just have to open your eyes and look.

Birthdays

14 Apr

birth of venus

I’m only 32 and I already have three separate friends who hate birthdays. B doesn’t like to be reminded of her age. R and N simply think birthdays are meaningless, since age doesn’t mean anything. R says it’s just another way for people to compare themselves to their peers. He’s 38, when’s he going to settle down already? You know, she should start thinking about children already, at her age. When I was 30 I had a career and two children, not that there’s anything wrong with waiting tables, but you know, there is. N criticizes how people wait for their birthday to do things they love. He thinks every day should be a celebration of us living the life we want to live.

All this is fine, and true. The competition thing, the living each day to its fullest. But let me just say this – I love my birthday! And I think my friends are sort of missing the point.

1. Birthdays are a very good excuse to be completely narcissistic, not give a shit about anyone else, and do stuff that you love and never find time for.

2. You get presents on your birthday, and presents are awesome! I fucking love presents.

3. Birthdays are not a celebration of how old you are, but a celebration that you ARE. If it weren’t for that crazy morning, 32 years ago, when my mom gave birth to me in a hospital room with five other women, and my dad rode his bike all around town shouting at strangers, I have a girl! I’m a dad! If it weren’t for that, I would not exist. I would not think, or believe, or love, or create, or become a parent myself. I would not ache, or break, or pick up the pieces of my life and start over. I would not be. And that’s what my birthday is to me, it’s a celebration of my life, with its peeks and its slopes, with its joy and its misery.

Many years ago, before I met BD, before I became, well, me, I had a really bad year. It was the year my heart was broken, my trust violated, my body taken advantage of. It was the year I stopped believing in god, and love, and happiness, and became an existentialist without really knowing what that meant. And most significantly, it was the year that I became I comfortably numb. So much shit was going on in my life, that it was too much to handle. So I didn’t. I just shut everything and everyone out. I went through the motions of life without laughing or crying, without feeling. Today, looking back at those days of numbness, I realize that there is yet another thing I celebrate every year on my birthday. I celebrate feeling! I embrace the pain and pleasures of life and I know that as long as I can feel, I exist.

And as long as I exist, I intend to celebrate my life. I feel lucky – to have loved, to have married, to have become a mother, to have been betrayed, to have recovered. I know that my heart may be broken in the future, but I still choose to love. I know that my trust may be violated in the future, but I still choose to trust.

Happy birthday, me. You’re doing great.

You live, you learn, you love you learn, you cry, you learn, you lose, you learn…