Wednesday, August 10, 2016
It didn't really dawn on me this morning as I drove down Hope street, D riding shotgun, talking about the election, basketball, his high marks at his last camp in "intangibles (hustle, coachability, attitude). Nor did it occur to me as I sat having coffee with a new colleague, touching on the rituals of our wedding day, what it meant to us, where the ideas came from, far and wide.
But now it's hit me, 14 years ago today I got married to someone I loved very much, still do in ways that I never thought imaginable at the tail end of a sad and hearbreaking divorce, so many years of trying under our belts. In those years, we faced so many obstacles: moving, changing careers, birth of children, sickness, death -- so many of life's challenges (and joys) hitting us pretty much year over year, some level of chaos or disruption being a constant. Looking back at the end of our divorce, it felt like our relationship may never have had a chance to even settle in, much less thrive in the way that it was intended to.
But now, another move, another sickness, more career changes, a little more chaos down the road, it occurs to me that in the chaos might live some of the thriving. I am not always quite sure how we are doing it, but we are good. We have beautiful children and a life that we have chosen to live amicably. We are thoughtful of each other and, in some ways, more thoughtful of the ways that remarks or arguments land than we were when we were married. These days, it seems we can breathe and step back and apologize, because it's good ground we are on and neither of us wants to ruin it. Our children are thriving in the space we are able to hold, for this time and in this moment.
I would be lying if I said it was always this easy, or there weren't days that I look at families walking together with a twinge of envy, or if I wasn't worried that the permanent addition of new people to the mix will disrupt this good balance or if I didn't acknowledge how it's weird and hard to understand how to be in this space with a former partner when my normal course of action in breakups is to exit and not return.
But it's the remaking and continually making anew that is the path here, no other choice if we want our children to be at their best, no other choice if we want the one we said yes to so many years ago to live their life happy in our world as it exists now. Because, if we are lucky, we are always each other's, in an altogether different way and in a different space, sitting at weddings and births, shouldering emergencies or loss, opposite one another on the journey of parenthood for as long as life lets us be.