I am weird. I should just put this out there right now. I feel like ultimately this is what this blog is heading towards, so I might as well just say it.
Today, as I was driving to work, I had an ‘epiphany’. My 8th graders are learning about the Industrial Revolution and super cool inventions of that time. The telegraph was one of them. Chris, “The Ex”, had an example of one, so I texted him and asked if could borrow it. On a minutes notice, he placed it and another nifty device in a bag outside of his house. I stopped and got it on my way to work.
Also on my drive to work, I had a mug of hot, delicious coffee sitting in my cup-holder as I made my way to my job.
Davis had kissed me goodbye about 10 times when I dropped him off earlier at school and although I hadn’t encountered any other of my boys this morning on my way to work, I was a woman who felt loved.
And that’s when it hit me.
I was driving on the 183 overpass, in a single lane. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry about any other traffic. Because tears were streaming down my face.
When I was a moody teenager and feeling so lost and unwanted, I would write in my journal all the time.
I think I was boy crazy from about the age 8 on. Boys have always been intriguing and amazing to me. I have had a permanent crush on SOME boy for always. Inevitably, they have almost always been unrequited. I just could never seem to have a boyfriend or get someone to like me back. And I never understood why.
So, I’m 14 or 15 and I am writing in my journal daily or weekly. I’m lamenting about who I am and my plight in life. Nothing ever seems fair, you know?
And in that journal, I write these words…”Please, God, let there be a boy who loves me more than I love him.”
At the time, it seemed genuine and heartfelt. Not selfish at all. I was desperate for attention, desperate for validation, desperate for something that felt like what everyone else around me seemed to have or be able to get at the bat of an eye.
And then I fell in love with Chris. He was my high school “sweetheart” (as of our Sr. Prom) who I then dated through college and married. We went on to have three AMAZING boys together and live a fairly close to picture perfect life, until I undid it all. I decided I was unhappy and I needed out and I was unsatisfied.
We divorced after years of “amicable working on it” and therapy. There is MUCH left to write about that time in my life, just FYI, but I am not ready yet.
I was sort of single, then not single, then single again and never sure about where I was or what I wanted.
And then I fell in love with Richard.
I was “almost”
divorced and life was amazing.
He was the first person who I felt like loved me unconditionally. And he put me near or at the top of his “list”. And I loved it and ate it up, completely.
He was just what I’d been looking for. And honestly, still am.
Not everyone needs that sort of love. To be honest, I’m a tad jealous of those people who don’t. But I am not that person. I do still need validation. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
So, flash forward to me driving to work today. I have a telegraph in a bag that I planned to share with kids that will never, in a million years, see a telegraph. I was able to text my ex and ask him for it and within 15 minutes he put it in a bag on his front porch. He added another cool antique for me to share, something I never even asked for. That is amazing.
Simultaneously,I reached down and grabbed my coffee. Richard wakes up EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. and makes our coffee. He puts it in a mug and places it on the counter and it’s ready for me as I leave the house. I can’t lie. I take it for granted that it will be there. And it always is. Then it hits me how incredibly lucky I am and I am blown away by his thoughtfulness.
My son, as I dropped him off at school today, kissed me more than once on the lips to tell me goodbye. He has zero shame in that and will accept being tardy to school to take time to tell me goodbye. I don’t mind. How sweet is that?
So, back to the moment, I’m driving over the bridge and it occurs to me that I have boys/men in my life who have gone OUT OF THEIR WAY to be nice to who? ME! ME. Little ‘ole measly, insecure me. ME.
It’s the me who can barely look in the mirror naked and breathe in acceptance. It’s the me who doesn’t fit into anymore of her clothes in the closet because of the weight she’s gained. It’s the me who still struggles with her role as a stepmom and how her boys feel and what she should and must do to do right by them. It’s the me who usually only sees failure and wrinkles and gray hair and fat and a soccer mom wardrobe.
But it’s the me who in ONE SINGLE DAY has two men do things purely and completely for me. Neither one of them had to help me, but they both did. Neither one of them had to respond or reach out, and they did.
I was overwhelmed by the realization.
Almost 30 years later from those teenage journal wishes, my life is beyond full of men who most likely loved me more than I loved them.
I’m still ashamed to admit that I ever wanted something so selfish. And I am still ashamed to admit that, all these years later, I am still a girl who needs it.
When I stop and think about who I am and where I am, this is what I know . I am loved. I am loved by a man who married me and loves me unconditionally.
You can’t know how just yet, but I will find the courage some day to share, but I am loved by an ex husband who I hurt deeply, terribly and horribly And he still finds the courage to let me borrow things from him. That has to be love.
I am loved by FIVE boys. Three of my own, plus two step sons who may not always like me. But I know that more days than not, they do. We are working on a real and genuine love. They are amazing.
Yes, I am a greedy girl. Over the years, I have taken more than I have given. And maybe I needed that up to this point. But I can’t be a taker all my life. I have to give back, I have to give more.
I am loved. The boys and men who love me are the most amazing, heart stopping, jaw dropping men I have ever met. That must say something about me.
I need to revise my journal, rewrite my wants and longings. I think it would go something like this:
“Dear God, Please let the boys/men in my life know how deeply and truly I love them. All. Even the ones who are no longer with me. Please let them know that they helped me and nurtured me and made me who I am. Let them know that I would never want to live this life without knowing them and having them touch my life. And let them know that I say “thank you.” From the bottom of my insecure heart. I know that there MUST me something special about me if THEY took the time to do something nice for me and love me. And for that I am eternally grateful. Amen.”