words, rants, and whispers from los angeles
everything you’ve wanted to know…..
An open response to “When it comes to love: I’m Happy for you”
My seven year old son is about to be a big brother.
I’m not pregnant.
His father’s girlfriend is very, very pregnant. My son’s father, (un)affectionately known as my ex-husband, is about to be a father for the second time.
After our divorce was finalized he started a new relationship with his current girlfriend. I, in turn, have had three significant relationships after our marriage’s demise, but have not expanded the (alternative) family unit thus far.
When things were getting rather salty in our marriage our son was around two years of age. I started bringing up another pregnancy hoping to keep the children close in age. He adamantly refuted the notion due to our financial situation. We were struggling new parents in our first home both having accrued debts from schooling and stupidity that had come hand in hand with being early twenty year olds in modern society. I understood his reasoning but continued to press the issue. Suffice it to say, the pressure of wanting to expand our family was just another stick on the fire of burning our BBQ romance to ash. We were in separate living spaces by the third birthday of our son.
A memory of one of my last nights in our family home:
I continued packing my belongings into boxes I scrounged from work. Our tiny, beautiful son at my feet while I tried to push through the obstacles of this new life. My husband helping me stack the belongings I am to remove from this “together place“ and start over with dreams unfinished. In our bedroom we stand , backs against the wall, shoulder to shoulder staring at our marital bed discussing the sheets. My knees and my will give out. I slide to the floor, the wall my closest friend, breaking my fall. And I have the clarity, the gumption, the BALLS to ask him through our shared tears, “is this why you kept saying we shouldn’t have another baby…because you knew you didn’t want this anymore?”
So I pulled myself together. And I moved out. I moved on. **
He didn’t tell me he started dating. He didn’t tell me he was getting serious. He didn’t have to. We were through in that way, but we had the eternal connection of co-parenting. We have a legal agreement to be partners for life. I found out he was moving in with his new girlfriend when I was in the emergency room with exploding ovarian cysts and confusion. I had to ask him to pick up our son from daycare on my night, and my two concerns were; where would our child sleep, and why am I finding this out right now.
My seven year old told me he was going to be a big brother. Not his dad.
This is my life. This is not the life I saw. This is not the 2 and ¾ bedroom, 1 bathroom house, small fenced in backyard life I had signed for with the government. I thought I had gotten it all together, the American dream. My parents even thought I had finally…Finally calmed down and gotten it together. We had duel income. I had the luxury of having the punky car that made me feel snazzy, a husband that raced motorcycles. We had our debts, but we would work those and other obstacles out together. I had the hopes and stories written out in my mind of growing old in our home. I had the dream of a bigger family. Or more specifically, carrying another child and meeting that being face to face and finding out who it was and what stories it could teach me.
**I groped about in the dark at a snail’s pace looking for answers. I stumbled blindly through my feelings. I worked full time. I self medicated with friends and business and drinking. I met good people, but they never met me, because I was nowhere to be found. I “took care” of my son. He took care of me is a much more honest admission of the time. My son kept me alive. Every single person I loved and missed, other than my bright eyed boy, was far away from me and the lawyers and mediators and other powers that may be all had the same thing to tell me about my situation; “you stay in this town, in this state and you get to be a part of your child’s life, or you can leave, by yourself“.
~insert article about giving up career for mothering~
“Nolan” is due any day now. My son’s half brother. My ex-husband’s new child.
My reason for writing this piece is to find comfort in others that have similar though unique situations. I have told a brief version of my story in order to get to this:
I am ridiculously happy (and concerned in a helicopter way) for my son to greet his new baby brother into this world. Babies are… oh so very amazing. In the womb, in their birth, in their first cry, and sleep and feeding. Hands. Down. Amazing creatures. A gift from the essence that keeps us going on and on. And…
To the father of my greatest achievement in this life:
I wish you the clarity of experience.
-the throws of labour and how to rise above the fear and see the beauty
-the lack of sleep and how it shows you how strong and weak you are. These lessons are life changing.
-the emotions of your lover, a new mother. Scared and frenzied. How you love her through it all.
I wish you the compassion and empathy of the child we have together.
-seeing someone cry and not understanding but hug them regardless of your ignorance to their moment of pain
-searching for understanding in a world that tells you to sit down, shut up, and keep moving. Knowing that within yourself you have the love to see it through.
I wish you the patience of a human that knows the hardship.
-would I be in your shoes, I would wonder if history will repeat itself. I send you thoughts of a better and bright future. May you not relive again the struggles we know
I wish you the character to stand up for all that you believe in for both of your beautiful sons.
Ours and yours are creatures that do not know the ways of the world. Let us show them through example how to be the best we can with the good love that we are given.
May you and our “modern” family find the community that is meant to be had by all of our children. Every single one of them.
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