I wrote this post on Friday, December 30th, 2016
My sister Tracey went to Haiti for 3 months when I was about 13 years old and she brought back a bucket hat for me that read, “What’s Mine is Yours.” I wish I had kept it.
My ex-husband is getting married today, fifteen minutes from the very minute that I am writing this actually, to a woman who is everything that I am not. While I am obnoxious, she is gentle. While I am obsessive, she is easy-going. While I am loud, she is quiet. I dictate, she listens. I’m hard around the edges, and she’s got a soft nature. But we share one thing in common, that I know for sure, anyway. We both love my kids.
We both love my kids. Her kids. They’re ours, now, in 13 minutes. Holy shit, right? Wow, divorce is fun. A married couple figures out that they don’t love each other enough or in the right way or whatever it is that they figure out and then all of a sudden they give up rights to whomever gets to step into their kids’ lives. Sometimes, the stepparent sees the biological parent’s child(ren) more than the biological parent does. Can I hear another “holy shit?” Thank you.
So, here I am, 11 minutes until my kids get a new parent, and I’m hanging with Callum listening to Ray Lamontagne and eating cheesies, crumbs spilling down my shirt, dried bits of play dough stuck to my socks, and while yeah, I’m often guilty of saying positive shit that I only 75% mean just because of the whole “positive thinking makes happy people” philosophy but this time, just this one time, I swear, I’m going to say something that I 100% mean. Ready?
I like her. My kids like her, and they probably even love her. My Jake, the male cutout of my DNA, the kid that hates cake and pie and shaving and whom, out of spite, hates anything that anyone really likes, likes her. And that says a lot. She’s got a good thing going on.
So, with seven minutes left until my kids become her kids too, I will unfurl my grip. Here, in the middle of our modest little family room, with Peppa Pig and Callum as my witnesses, I will share.
To my kids’ stepmom,
May your heart carry what buckles mine. May your eyes see what I have to squint for. May you love easily in ways that come harder for me. And may you know that if you don’t or if you can’t, I’ve got them.
What’s mine is yours, cradled within the sacred space of this particular developing country.
(Like a typical ex-wife stalker, I scored these pictures from the ceremony):