The fire on the one and three burned a hole right through my heart.
When did this happen?
How did we get here?
Are we doing it right?
She closes her eyes and makes a wish. I want to know what it is but it’s hers to make and hers to keep. If she tells me it won’t come true.
Isn’t that how birthday wishes go.
It marks 13 years that her daddy and I have been co-parenting from separate houses. The ink was already dry on the divorce papers when she made her grand entrance into our lives.
That didn’t matter, he was still the first to hold her, the first to kiss her and the first to look into her big blue eyes. That has never made me jealous, only thankful.
The status of our relationship never comes into play when we make decisions on parenting together. We are a team and in it for the rest of our lives. We set everything aside and make sure that we raise her in a way that ,despite the divorce, will lead her to be a confident, strong and loving young lady.
So far so good.
She takes a deep breath and exhales. The one and the three go dark.
My heart wants to explode. I want to rewind time. Soak it up just one last time. Hit the pause button.
I want to relive the days that I did right and fix the days that I did wrong.
Did I screw her up somewhere along the way with something I said or did?
Will she resent my countless hours at work?
Will she be thankful that I did my best to provide?
Did the divorce make her stronger?
Have her daddy and I done it the right way, the best that we could?
The room is glowing. The girls have glow sticks in their hands and light up rings on their fingers. Other than that it is fairly dark. I can see her stepdaddy in the corner standing next to her daddy, my husband and my exhusband. Her stepmommy sits to my left. Not a moment of it is uncomfortable.
We are all friends.
We are all her parents either through blood or love, equally balanced on the scale and each as important as the other.
There is no battle for status.
There is no push for king of the mountain.
With the cars loaded and everyone headed home I send her daddy a text
“Thank you for doing everything for the party. I appreciate it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it this year with everything that we had going on. You are an awesome daddy.”
And he replies
“Trying to keep up with mom. You’re a tough act to follow”
Maybe we didn’t get our marriage right but we are doing everything we can to make up for it with our co-parenting.
We can let it makes us bitter or we can let it makes us better.
Our oldest daughters daddy could throw our past in my face. He could use it against me to gain points with our daughter. He could manipulate the situation to make him the more favored parent.
He knows me well. He knows where I’ve been and what I’ve done.
He never holds it against me or uses it in his favor. He lets it makes us better.
Our heavenly Father does the same.
He was there when I denied Him. He was there when I cursed His name. He was there when I self destructed. He was there when i failed. He was there when I held no value in myself.
He loved me through it all. He’s loved me from the day He created me.
He’s cherished me from the moment that He knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
He was there then and He is here now. He never uses my past against me or cripples my future because of it.
He reminds me about it from time to time but not to hurt me. He shows it to me to help me grow, to be better and to never be bitter.
He goes before me and He stands behind me.
What is your past doing to you?
Are you bitter or are you better?
You have a choice.
Awesome Father thank you for letting go of the wrongs that we have done and for forgiving us by the blood of your very own son. Teach us how to use our pasts to make us better and to learn how to grow. Sometimes we can’t help to let it hold us down. When we are stuck underneath our past please gentle remove it and remind us that you have always been there and always will be. Help us to not only forgive ourselves of our own pasts but to also forgive others of theirs. In Jesus name, amen.
While our oldest daughter was in the party room of the skating rink, trying to be as cool as she could with all of her friends, I marched in and announced loudly that her dad and I were about to couples skate. She gagged loudly and told me that it was the most disgusting thing EVER! Now that I think about it, we probably are scarring her for life.