Twelve years ago on this day I walked down the aisle, escorted by my father to meet Oz. To swear before God and family and friends that we would bet our lives on forever. This morning, 12 years later, we met at a commuter lot to exchange our children. It amazes me how life can change in what feels like a minute. Forever seemed like such a great idea. When you know, you know and all that. I was 28 years old and knew exactly what I wanted, marriage, children…a family. Here I am today at 40 years old and I'm still trying to piece together what exactly all of that means. Oz and I are not the same people we were that day. I don't even recognize myself sometimes. And very often I don't recognize him anymore. I thought for a long time we are so aligned in our goals and dreams and vision of what was important. But, over the years since our divorce I realize we are sometimes on different pages for so many reasons. People change. I hear that all the time in different contexts. It's true. To some degree. People do change. We grow up. We grow old. The world knocks us down. Each time you get back up, you are changed just a little. Each person that comes into our lives now steers our paths in different directions. Divorce has opened our family up to new people. More people. Since I went back into the work force, my community has widened and expanded. My children now have "school moms" that look out for and love them. I have "work sisters" that are my support system and my team! And my lifelong, close circle of friends all rallied around me over the years, they are my village, my family! As my babies are growing up they have friends that they are getting to know and making their own attachments now. Each person Oz and I bring into our personal lives now become part of our children's lives. In marriage, you trust your partner and believe and hope that they will have your best interest at heart because they love you. Divorce is different. Its the biggest leap of faith there is. After a divorce you have to blindly trust that a person you could not keep a forever promise to will effectively co-parent the most important people you will ever know. In the beginning I would watch my children leave with their father and think "My God my entire life is driving away right now." After a few years this life has become our "normal." We have found new patterns that work for us. New schedules, new routines, new rituals, new rules, and new lives. Oz and I still have our disagreements and there is no one that has ever made me feel angrier on this entire planet. But, we have also reached a place where we can talk about things that are important to us again, including the relationships we have with other people. (Nothing weird or awkward about that, right?!) At the end of the day, forever may not have been what I thought it would be or last nearly as long, but I have faith that I did bet on the right person for my children. When push comes to shove, he does have my back and I have his (even when he really pisses me off!)
*In the picture I chose, one of our sons is hiding in the background refusing to take part because he is too cool. We don't have many post-divorce family pics. SO this one is it, LOL!