Tonight I watched two best friends get married. Their love and happiness was utterly contagious. I drove home giddy with a renewed sense of hope for my own heart.
I got married when I was 20. At the time I was absolutely in love. In hindsight I can say it wasn’t a mistake, but a learning experience. We were divorced at 23. Also not a mistake. I dated (using that term loosely) for a few years after my divorce. In my mid-20’s I was eager to explore the world, to discover myself, as painfully cliche as it sounds. I became a Mom at 29. Despite my best attempts with Leia’s father at creating a relationship, it never worked out.
Truly accepting single parenthood was hard. Coming from a “broken” family, I wanted to give my daughter a mom and a dad in the same home, in love, functional, role models. When that didn’t happen I gave myself permission to grieve, but I picked up the pieces and got strong. Three months passed and I still felt bitter from time to time. Six months passed and I found peace. Twelve months passed and I found happiness.
I can genuinely say I am happy with my life. I am the best mother I can be for Leia. I do everything in my power to facilitate a relationship between her and her father. I know she is happy, healthy, and loved. Friends and family have asked when I plan on dating, finding companionship, falling in love again. The truth is, I’m no where near ready. I’m not emotionally available for a relationship. I’m too focused on navigating the waters as a parent first. On the rare occasion I get a few hours alone I don’t want to spend it on a date. I’m happy being single. For the first time in, I dunno, forever? I feel like I can say I am content with being on my own with no active plans to find a mate.
With that said, I do wish Leia had an active father figure in her every day life. I have a fantastic, supportive mom group, and I am the only single mom. There are times I listen with envy and admiration to the stories about how their kids interact with their fathers at home. I know that Leia’s father loves her, but it would be untrue to say I don’t wish she had a male role model. Or a role model for a healthy marriage.
I do want companionship at some point. I hope I’m not alone forever. When Leia is grown and off at college, I would love to have a best friend to travel the world with me. My priorities are just somewhere else right now. That’s a good thing right? It only took 30 years, but I got to a place where I am happy in my own skin. I feel complete, but capable of change.
Tonight I saw a glimpse of love that was so true and so profound it shook my comfort level and let me dream for a moment about what it would be like to have that experience. Thank goodness I wore my waterproof mascara! Thank you Nicole and Brian for reminding me that love is a beautiful thing worth yearning for. Thank you for setting the standard high. I am a better woman for witnessing your love on this special day (and no, it’s not just the wine talking….). ❤