I am a mother of three beautiful girls. Three independently different and strong-willed females. I became a mother at 16 years old, a baby raising a baby. I married her father 4 months later. We made a ton of mistakes… She definitely got the short end of the stick being raised by teenagers, but she survived and is probably the strongest young woman I know. S is now married and has two little ones. A spunky little girl and a handsome-handsome boy. When S was 17, she graduated high school early and moved off to start college a town away. College wasn’t for her but she never returned home in a permanent way. She was on her way to adulthood and determined to get there as fast as she could. Prior to moving out, we butted heads pretty hard. Two alpha females under one roof was tough! Hormones, struggle for power, disrespect, and short tempers were a recipe for disaster. I’m still uncertain if we’ve repaired the damage done. I like to hope so, but I’m probably wrong…
Seven years into Motherhood, E came along. She has been a wildflower from the moment she emerged into this world; all 10 pounds of her. A free spirit with a haunted soul. Beautiful inside and out, but handle with care – her sting is deadly! You find yourself wanting to steer clear and keep her happy so she doesn’t burn the house down… or something worse. She taught me patience. If I dared to let my blood pressure go up every time she wanted it to, I’d be dead. Literally – heart attack and buried. She’s a true siren. I can actually picture her sitting on a rock in the sea singing a beautiful song to attract you, then ripping your heart out. I say this lightly, but it’s probably the closest depiction I can come up with… I wouldn’t change a thing. She says and does things that I’ve only dreamt of having the guts to say or do.
20 months later my A came along. My easy one. My hilarious one with the colorful candy shell. She lights up every room she enters. She knows her worth but loves so hard she loses sight of it sometimes. She carefully decides how much shit she will take. She just wants everyone to be happy, but when she’s done – she’s done. That beautiful face loses its spark and she breaks. She is the one I’m most excited to watch walk down the aisle one day. She deserves so much happiness, but people – being a 15-year-old female is HARD! Boys are dumb and girls are mean. I wish I could wipe away that reality. You would think I’d be better at counseling her through it (being that I’ve done it twice before…)
I love all three of my girls very much for different reasons. It’s a fine balance to show that and cater to the method of how they each receive the information. One needs to be shown, one needs to be tackled to the ground and held in a bear hug, one needs to be listened to and verbally encouraged. They all watch how I handle the other two and get upset with the attention paid. I often feel like a ping pong ball bouncing around getting scuffed up and often ending up on the dirty floor.
Fast forward 24 years, I fell out of love with their Father. A good man, just not right for me anymore. It was the hardest decision I ever made. We parted ways civilly, then divorced civilly. I failed. My dreams of one-day telling people (grey and old) that I’d been married 75 years was just gone. I lost my grip to hold on for everyone else. It felt like I put the pieces of my world in a blue cup (like dice) shook it up and poured it on the table. Where would everything land? One-piece fell off the table. My S fell off the table. A loss bigger than my lifelong marriage. A loss I don’t know how to handle. My E who is my mini-me and was my rock through all of it just recently left. She’s 17 now and I guess its time for her to spread her wings. Is it possible to go from numb to number? I’ll answer that – IT IS. My A after a brief departure now splits her time with me, which I am so grateful for.
There is no way to prepare for how this feels… I am moving through the motions of everyday life the best I can; keeping my head high but screaming on the inside, ringing in my ears. Thank goodness for my great friends and the new love in my life. Moving forward without everyone by my side is super hard to wrap my head around. It’s another one of life lessons I’ll need to learn to maneuver through. My advice to anyone getting ready to go down this path is to be kind to yourself. Follow your gut and listen to your heart. You aren’t responsible for everyone’s happiness – only your own. Practice patience and don’t give up hope that everyone around you will one day want you to be as happy as you do.