Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life Begins at 33

Ok, so I realize I am no longer 33, but, rather, 35, however my life, my truly wonderful life, began at 33 (33 1/2 if you want to get technical). This is a brief retelling of how I came to be where I am at this point in my life. I promise it's not all that boring.

From the time I was a little girl I had wanted nothing more than to be a mom to several kids; 4 precisely. That was just one thing I wanted to be. Seeing my parents divorce, I had decided that when I married I would never divorce, no matter what. I love my parents very much, and am actually quite happy that they aren't married to each other. They are both very different people. I am just saying that I had decided that divorce wasn't going to be for me. My stubborn Irish nature to not give up and attempt to keep things going no matter how bleak is what almost landed me 6 feet under. I'll explain.

When I first got married I was 18, less than a year out of high school, in the military and stationed at a language training facility. The guy I married was ... ok in a sense. Unfortunately, he was very controlling, obsessive and other not so very nice things. We had a child, a daughter. By this point I was almost 21 when she was born. I've skipped some of the details because, it's not that they're boring, they just don't belong broadcast to the world unless I decide to write a book. Actually, I could write a book with regards to that relationship. Those who know me personally know exactly the types of things that went on in that relationship. This guy I married fought with me, and I with him, all of the time. To be honest, he was nicest to me when we first started dating and while I was pregnant. That about covers it. Anyway, this baby we had together changed my life. I wanted nothing more than to love and protect her. So, once I had taken all I could of this guy in my life, I packed up my little girl and left. After all, it was one thing for me to be the target of some one's issues, problems, etc, but I wasn't going to put up with my daughter being berated. Mama Bear instincts were in full force there.

I moved home, started over with my daughter. My family was wonderful to me. By this point that beautiful little girl was 2 1/2. Some time later, in the midst of a new life, new job, new location (which for me was really back to my roots. I love the place I grew up. We have actual seasons here. Right now it's currently snowing!) I met a guy. He had a little girl of his own. We began dating, moved in together and everything seemed to be going well. We didn't really fight, which for me was like a total relief because that's all that ever happened before. We got married, I got pregnant, we bought a house; it seemed like a pretty natural progression to me until he got weird. He had every excuse in the book for why he couldn't go anywhere with me and the 3 kids, why he HAD to stay home, why he couldn't go to any of my family members houses for holidays and why he had to run to the store just before my family showed up. He also almost always managed to be gone until sometime after they left. Bring on the infidelity issues! And I was pregnant again with another child. Somehow we got past that and continued our life together. Things "seemed" to be going well, or at least maintaining the status quo. Our daughter (this makes 4 kids now between the two of us in case you lost track and they were all girls) was born, his mother unfortunately soon passed before she turned a year old, and shortly after she turned one I discovered I was pregnant again. So we had 3 children together, the last was a boy. I decided to name him after my granddad, whose name was also (luckily enough for me) the same as my then husband's favorite baseball player. Well, my life was so engrossed in child-rearing it left me no time to realize my husband and I had no relationship. We existed like roommates. He had been working overnight shifts, I worked part-time during the day. We would see each other for 5 minutes when I came home at the end of my shift as he was walking out the door to work, and then for a bit of time on the weekends. That was it. Time continued on and we argued quite a bit. I was miserable. He was miserable. I had accused him, on more than one occasion of cheating again. Each time I was told I just had trust issues. Time continued on. We continued to "exist" as strangers living under the same roof. This took its toll on the kids. Not a healthy, happy situation for them or us.

Since I had no relationship with the person who shared this house with me (I got the bedroom, he had the couch), I had made up my mind to just be the best mom I could to all of the children including my then stepdaughter. My son was only months old when this had occurred (and yes, I mean just a few months old). I did my thing, he did his. At one point he had told me he didn't know if he even wanted to be married, but didn't want to leave since the kids were involved. Nice of him, huh? So we existed and did what was necessary. On the outside, people thought we were doing really well as a couple, as a family and we kept that facade up.

I, myself, had decided that love wasn't worth chancing, risking, or otherwise. Relationships stunk and it was better, safer to just be Mom. Because I had already "emotionally and mentally divorced" myself from this man some time prior my heart, by the time my son was 2 1/2 went off in search of what it was missing. I ended up in contact(and that's a story in and of itself. quite accidental and incredibly magickal) with an old classmate from my school days. When I say school days, I went to school with this person from 1st grade all the way up through 12th grade. In elementary school he made a habit of chasing me daily during recess which always resulted in him getting kicked by me. Yet he pursued me daily. By the time our senior year had rolled around, we were playing footsies in English class. He knew me as shy and quiet. My family knows otherwise.

Anyway, somewhere in between reminiscing with each other and getting to know each other all over again, we fell in love. I can honestly say I have never been so happy. Even my oldest daughter has asked me why I couldn't have taken a chance on him before I had graduated high school. She's cute. "Quite simple, my dear. You wouldn't exist as the you that you are today." Our lives compliment each other very well. He's the "planner" and I am the (and these are his words, even if he IS right) "extreme free spirit." I love our life. We have my four children, his son, a son together, my cat and his dog. I love where we live. We are a bit in the "country," but not so much that you can't find people.

After kissing toads, and that proved fruitless, I found a prince without even looking. He is my knight, my lover, my husband, my friend, and he loves me for just being me. I can and have told him everything and anything. He doesn't look for me to be anything more than my typical extreme free-spirited, barefoot(almost all the time even in Winter), cartwheeling through the wild flowers, dancing in the rain, Goddess loving self. And I couldn't imagine asking him to be anything but him. We have been totally goofy together, then attempted seriousness. I even let him catch me when I go running barefoot down the hills in the park or even around the house.

There are no regrets to how my life unfolded. I wouldn't be the me that I am if it had been different. I have been a mom nearly all of my adult life. I have always put everything I had into my kids and to those in my life. I love being Mom. But, I have spent so long putting myself on the back burner that I forgot to live. The chains that bound my soul were broken the day I opened my heart to this man and my soul was set free. So my life, the time that I really started living, really did begin at 33. And I am so happy that it did.

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