Friday, April 20, 2018

An Introduction to us




Here we are. 
Often I wonder how I strayed so far from what I thought my personal life would look like when I was a little girl. I was supposed to meet a man, date and get married, have a few children, and raise them in a yellow house.

Instead I got Star Wars.

Instead somewhere along the line, someone threw my plans in the wash and when they came out what once was white is now pink and what was big had shrunk. 
After a rough and short-lived marriage in my early twenties, I did what most humans do, I rode my bike and spent any extra money on tattoos. 
I met John when I was 26 and about to graduate from college. We weren't dating long when SURPRISE! We found out we were pregnant with Redding. It was the happiest and scariest moment of my life. I knew in the deepest part of my being that it, he, was supposed to happen.  
I read once that most couples who have a baby on accident will go on to have another one, somehow trying to right their wrong.  I'm not sure about the psychology behind why or how John and I managed to stay together for almost 4 years, and I'm not sure I care.  I think it's because we have a very deep understanding and respect for the other ... and perhaps because in some cosmic way everything's meant to be. White was supposed to be pink and big was supposed to be small.
In our breakup we lived by the rule 'will this cause you to get resentful?'  We saw a divorce therapist. We had long talks, that were painful and awkward and embarrassing. We tried separate bedrooms. We tried 'birdnesting' (children stay in the same house while the parents go in and out). But at the end of the day, we needed two homes. We needed to heal. We needed to move on.

And so we decided to coparent, a complete 50/50 split.  We stayed away from lawyers and stayed away from damaged advice. We trusted each other, or really we trusted the love the other one had for our children above all else.

Over the last few years I've had more moms than I can count, most of which I've never met, message me over instagram wondering how we've managed to do it.  My answer is always 'I don't know, but  if I can do it, than you can do it too'.  It takes honesty, vulnerability and the loss of ego ... And if you know me, then you know I have an unhealthy attachment to my ego and I would literally rather hear fingernails on a chalkboard all day than be vulnerable. just no.

But here we are. I am just a parenting novice like the rest of you. 
The older I get though, the more I realize the value in our stories, in my stories.
 And so I will start writing our stories and encouragements and heartbreaks.  Because the stories of shared parenting need to be told ... Mostly for me.  I am the first to forget that everything is as it should be. As it was always supposed to be. I quickly forget and begin to think maybe what is pink was supposed to be white after all, and that I shouldve never put that white shirt in the wash with a red one in the first place (queue the epic snotty pity party) 

.... but that's just not true, it's just that I wasn't supposed to get the yellow house. It was StarWars that was in-store for me all along.  
And who in their right mind doesn't like George Lucas?