A summer of learning…

I’ve been on a hiatus from this blog and my apologies for that to my readers.  It’s been an interesting and great summer of learning and growth.  Through decision of myself and Prince Charming, we decided to spend most of the summer together and seeing if our lives “meshed”, so to speak.  He being a teacher had the summer off and therefore had his daughter the majority of the time, I booked off most of the summer months to spend with them.

 

We had a fabulous time together as a family; celebrating birthdays (mine and wee one’s as we’re born in the same month), picnics, swimming, park visits, beach visits, and zoo visits.  We had days of activity, and days of rest watching movies and playing around the house.  I became not the novelty of the woman who’s with little one’s father and around on occasion, but the normal every day facet of the family.  This has promoted a wonderful relationship developed with myself and little one, but has also awoke the toddler attitude with which she no longer discerns me.  This summer I have found out what it’s like to truly be treated like a parent.  I’ve cried tears and felt truly heartbroken when made target of a three year old’s tantrum, I’ve analyzed myself endlessly and wondered daily if I’m doing the right thing to aid the development of a happy and healthy (emotionally and physically) little girl, I’ve provided for and looked after with no thanks (well, her father makes sure to thank me for things), I’ve smiled and laughed when I’ve felt unwell… I’ve been blessed with all of this, and wouldn’t trade any of it.

 

Prince Charming and I also got to take our first vacation, just the two of us.  We spent a few days in Mexico.  We learned what it’s like to travel with eachother, and even how we cope with a few travelling stresses (such as a credit card that wouldn’t work).  We experienced adventure, romance and relaxation in the span of those few days.  I think that solidified things for us; we can do the mundane day to day living but we can enjoy paradise too.  We know we can live with just us, which is important I think, because we were away without work, without kids, and in a foreign country; all we had was eachother and later on in life we will experience that again, so we should be sure that it’s okay that way. 

 

This summer we learned about eachother, how we function as a family unit, and what we want from eachother and for our futures.

 

This summer resulted in a discussion about childcare where Prince Charming said “as a parent, I know you can appreciate that…”….

“Wait… as a parent I can appreciate that?”

“Well yeah, I view you as her step parent”…..

 

This summer resulted in a toddler running into the living room in her pajamas after a bath holding a small box, smiling and presenting it to me, “do you live with me?”, her father following behind saying “she’s supposed to say ‘will you live with me?’”….

 

This summer resulted in living, growing, and loving.   Life is wonderful and fulfilling with this man and his daughter in it.

 

Still learning….

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When there’s a child…Am I doing this right??

I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone that has young children before; most men that I’ve dealt with had children of a teenage or adult age if any at all. So having a young one around alot of the time, I have to say, is an exciting new experience.

Having always wanted children myself, I love having a 2 (soon to be 3) year old around. She’s fun to play with, read stories to, watch movies with, and I can’t even tell you what all “pretending games” we play (I’ve played numerous characters, explored many places, and eaten the most interesting things). Without going through pregnancy myself; I have still gotten to reap the benefits of a squealing child jumping with excitement to see me after having been away on a trip, the mimicking of my movements and mannerisms, the cuddling and falling asleep during movies, and the crawling into my arms only wanting to be comforted by me when hurt or scared. Life is blissful with a child in it, even though not my own.

Then there’s that…. She’s not mine….I treat her like my own, in that I love her, would give her anything she needs and her safety and wellbeing is my number one priority. But she’s not my own, and there’s a boundary that I try to work hard at as to not blur. I am not her father’s wife, I guess I would be just called the “girlfriend”; so I’m not sure that I’m exactly what you would call a “stepmother”, I really don’t know? All I can attest to being is someone else in her life that loves her.

Things like disciplining I hand over (gladly I might add, as she’s developing the wonderfully tyrant personality of a toddler only child) to her father; and also defer to him on most decisions that begin with her asking “can I have…”… Though being a wonderfully bright child, after hearing “no” from her father she most certainly will come to me in hopes of a different answering; which is the same as her father’s ———it’s best to relay this united front/parenting/whatever it is while she’s young, hopefully that sticks with her as she becomes older.

I am also very clear to maintain the not sleeping with me boundary. As a little girl that started off life with alot of attachment parenting values being used in her upbringing, she still co-sleeps at the moment. So at night, if I happen to spending the night at her father’s while she is there, she is in Daddy’s room and me, I’m in a spare room. Which I get, co-sleeping is to be with a parent, I am not her parent. Though it’s heartbreaking to tell a child “no” when they say goodnight to you and pout or cry “but can’t I sleep with you?” To avoid this though, I’m more often not there when there is overnights with the wee one.

I feel as if I’m fumbling through new territory, as I’ve never done (or had to do) any of this before. Each day with her is a new experience, which I absolutely love and adore, but am nervous at the same time! I hope I’m doing this right.

What are some others’ experiences out there? Stepmoms? Girlfriends? Loving and caring adult figures? I’d love to hear thoughts and opinions based on your experiences.

Hoping I’m the best that I can be for this little girl..

Still learning….

Easter hiccup

Easter weekend was the weekend that Prince Charming and I were to attend our first family dinner with his family.. I was incredibly nervous.. Pick a stigma about being the first girlfriend after an ex-wife and I’ve experienced it, the Prince and I have had to work through alot. So needless to say, I was worried about being judged or compared against the ex-wife, or just plain being unaccepted or not given the chance during this family gathering. But I was prepared! I was to come bearing sweets, wine, and to just be my charming self… I’ve already made my mark on previous difficult in-laws and challenging mothers of Momma’s boys (not that Prince Charming is a Momma’s boy, but overbearing mothers are a partner’s biggest challenge was more my point), having them fall in love with me and developed some wonderful relationships with parents of ex-partners.. So figuring this was my best friend, I’m already known to some of his family, it’s evident that I love him and treat him well and given his ex-wife is being a tad bit difficult in the whole divorce process; I thought I was being silly perhaps, and shouldn’t worry as much… They would totally see how wonderful I was! Just being in our presence, you can see how well I get along with and love my Prince and Little Parrot.

Prince Charming and I were to be hosting at his house, putting on dinner for his daughter, his folks, his sister and brother-in-law. I was already in planning mode, gently coaxing the Prince for what I could make, bring, cook, etc… I love entertaining! And this was a huge step for us, our first family function! I was looking forward to it immensely.

Then Thursday came….. and the hiccup….

His mother called, there was a scheduling issues which would turn out to be more feasible to host dinner at his folks’ place….

“And oh, by the way… Could we just have the family this time?..I’m not ready for someone new yet”…..

Prince Charming had to relay to me his conversation with his mother…My worry about being judged, or not given a chance just punched me in the stomach.. I felt ill…I started crying.. Another challenge or obstacle, this time from the people who love my guy the most and who were supposed to support him.

Then I went from tears and sadness, to feeling angry! As if the line had been drawn in the sand.. I now had an enemy and someone I had to steel myself against…I have met this woman in passing before, and she seemed sweet, but now to me, she was the wicked witch of the west! That’s how I felt at the time anyway… I don’t even think I’d uninvite someone who was acquaintance, let alone someone a family member deemed important enough to them to invite in the first place.

Prince and Little Parrot went away to family Easter dinner without me.. I was a ball of emotion between sadness and anger. I had hoped Prince Charming would have a chat with the Wicked Witc… I mean, his mother…

He did… Apparently she needed time to mourn his ex, and was well aware of how he, I, and his daughter function together as our own little unit; she wasn’t ready to see that for a prolonged period of time yet (she spent a few hours with us a couple weeks prior, which I thought went pretty darn well myself). How my Prince puts it is: “I wouldn’t have received a fair chance at acceptance yet”. But he relayed to his mother how important I was to him, and that I’m not going anywhere (that’s my man!).

But now… When I eventually do get to this whole family thing with his side, how do I not have the first impression of being “unwelcome” in the back of my mind? She hurt me… I couldn’t believe it happened (and in truth, Prince Charming couldn’t either)…. I’m not saying I hold grudges, but I never forget things… and sometimes I have trouble letting go of things that bother me… things I have to work on I guess.

So.. I suppose I just smile, like there’s no hard feelings? The bottle of wine and Easter card I sent in my absence should relay that I hope? I’m trying not to have hard feelings at least.. I just pretend it didn’t happen? Yes, yes, I’m well aware I can’t refer to her as the Wicked Witch of the West… She’s probably not a bad lady, she did produce something pretty wonderful afterall (her son)… She just hurt me, though probably not intentionally (I hope).

More time needed for everyone… Just because Prince Charming and his daughter are comfortable and ready to move forward, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else in life is. I guess I just expected a chance, as that would be supporting Prince Charming and his happiness; but not all think the same way and have that definition of “support”.

I am with him, not his family… And him and I are good! But it sure makes life easier when your significant other’s family at least tolerates you. I have to admit, this past weekend did make me feel a tad bit defeated….

Now to just get past this….

Still learning….

I have a little parrot…

It’s becoming a weekly thing to spend time with Prince Charming and his daughter, and after each visit with them, seeing them together, how cute she is, and how wonderful of a father he is; I fall deeper in love…. with them both.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never been with anyone that has small children before. But where she’s known me before (as I’ve been friends with Daddy and Mommy during her lifespan – I met her when she was 3 months old), she has now taken keen interest in me since her father and I have become a couple. She’s become my little parrot in repeating some of my mannerisms and responses to questions; and I’ve affectionately called her so, to which she responds “yes, I am your little parrot!” How cute is that?

If I’m over at the house, I’m usually bopping around to the Blues station if I’m tidying or doing dishes. To which she will come in and want to dance with me, proclaiming she likes my music, after making sure to ask, “do I like this song?”… I think most visits now, I am obligated to “turn on Blues and dance!”

From how I lick my ice cream cone, to what kind of music I listen to, to how I pet the dog; his lovely little child seems to mimic me. Watching and duplicating what I’m doing, smiling all the time as I watch her. I take this as a good sign, that she’s accepted me (or at least I’m hoping that’s what these things mean).

I assume that she accepts me with her Daddy, easily enough. I think she likes seeing her Daddy happy, or at least maybe finds ways to tell us so. Even from early days when I spent time with them, I wanted to ease her into seeing us in a different light; afterall, I’m not Mommy, and that’s who she is used to seeing with Daddy. So I didn’t broadcast affection with her father right away.. One day while watching a movie, while little one was playing on the floor, Prince Charming made move to sit closer to me on the couch and place his hand on my leg.. To which I quietly told him to move over a bit, as to not have her see that yet. Well, his wonderful little Princess is very quick and very smart to realize this was going on, but she seemed okay with her Daddy being affectionate and happy… She came over to the couch, pointed to space between us, and simply stated, “sit here”. To which I made offer to help her up to sit between us on the couch for the movie, and she replied “no, Daddy sit here.. I want Daddy to sit here”.. To which he moved back over, she smiled, and went back to her toys on the floor…Well then… I suppose we could take that as a sign of approval!

It’s become common practice for her to use my name in tandem with Daddy; “I go do (insert some activity) with Daddy and (insert my name)”; or she’ll make sure to ask me or her Daddy if I’m coming too. She often wants to include me in things that she’s doing. My heart swells every time she asks me or takes my hand to go do something with her.

I never want to push my presence on her, and I give her the power to allow my involvement with her. I’m finding it’s something I’m always cognitive of, not wanting to overstep any boundaries in regards to her. I want her to view and be comfortable with the loving relationship that I have with her father, and for her to know I’m not trying to be her parent, but I am another person that loves her…. and would do anything in the world for her and her Daddy…

So, in this wonderful adventure of meeting my Prince Charming, he came with a wonderful wee Princess… and now, I have a little parrot.

~Still learning…

Vulnerable and happy

I’ve been through real, intense, heartbreak twice in my thirty years.. The first being the breakdown of my marriage, and the second being the breakdown of a short-lived but intense relationship with a man who promised me everything only to find he himself was not wanting the same type of life… Two times I thought I had found love, and two times I’ve been let down and disappointed.

I’ve never wanted to miss out on that chance though, the chance of finding that love and someone to share life with. While I’ve not had many opportunities for that intense love that I’ve been hoping for, I never have closed myself off to the possibility. Even at one point having decided to continue on with the life I wanted and considering having a child on my own, I thought that maybe later love would happen. There’s a difference between a thinking a relationship won’t ever happen and thinking you don’t need a relationship to happen; I was of the latter idea. But I’ve always tried to be open and vulnerable to the possibility of something wonderful happening.

It’s funny though, when I was younger, and I find many people now (regardless of age) maintain a level of being guarded in a new relationship. We’ve all been hurt and we don’t want to endure the pain and heartbreak again. Sure I’m cautious in getting to know new people of course, but I don’t have that internal struggle anymore (and haven’t for a while) that says “I don’t want to fall in love, it’s going to hurt… so not yet”. I am accepting of what I feel and when, there are no instruction manuals or acceptable timelines; if I’m going to fall in love, so be it! Because if I remain guarded, I could miss out on an opportunity for something wonderful and great…. So that is how I live… I try not to be guarded with my emotions; I’m up front, all cards on the table, this is what you’re dealing with, wearing my heart on my sleeve… Believe it or not, it has helped weed out some ill matched suitors in my past. BUT… This way that I live gives ample opportunity for me to be hurt.. I’ve always said resilience is my best quality, well, there are many reasons for that.

For the relationship I’m currently in, even with outside factors affecting the relationship (somewhat), I’ve maintained this vulnerability. This has allowed me to fall in love with this man.. But something is different about these emotions. I’ve been married, I’ve been with someone I planned to have a family with; but I don’t think I’ve ever felt this. Truth be told, this man has all the power in the world to hurt me and he doesn’t even know it. I have never looked at a relationship that way, someone having “power” over me, and have been hesitant to give that power I guess, as I’ve discussed with a friend in the past.

“When you love someone, truly love them, you lay your heart open to them. You give them a part of yourself that you give to no one else, and you let them inside a part of you that only they can hurt-you literally hand them the razor with a map of where to cut deepest and most painfully on your heart and soul.”
― Sherrilyn Kenyon

Prince Charming makes me feel valued no matter what; we have our struggles and can both be exasperating at times trying to relay our thoughts and feelings on alot of intense subjects. It happens when you’re in the midst of life changing events (such as divorce and custody arrangements), and starting a new relationship. Emotions are going to run high, and they may overlap at times. But we talk, he’s never told me I shouldn’t be upset about something and always validates my thoughts and feelings. Admittedly, once I’m “passionate” (again, his verbiage, I’m “passionate” NOT “a pain in the arse”) about something, I can be pretty exhausting to deal with; but he talks through it with me and hasn’t run the other way.. And well, I haven’t run away either… Life is not easy right now…

Prince Charming also has this way of looking at me. He always looks at me, almost as if he’s studying me, and as if I’m something new to behold each time. I’ve never held any man’s gaze so intently. He doesn’t know that he does this, I don’t think, but it makes me melt every time. I feel so… I don’t know… Adored perhaps is the word I’m looking for?

I look at this man and my heart swells and I smile; thinking how lucky I am… He’s seen me at my highs and lows over the past couple of years, we spend time together easily, and we make eachother laugh; I truly fell in love with my best friend. It wasn’t planned, it wasn’t even thought of, but somehow, and luckily, here we are. We just…. Fit.

Prince Charming happens to come with a little sprite of a Princess as well. I have never been in a relationship with anyone with young children before. This is also a new ballgame for me, and a whole new level of vulnerability. I have a love for children and yearn to have my own someday, so I would never ever ever be guarded emotionally around a child. They should be openly nurtured and loved to build confidence, caring and help shape them into kind and happy little human beings. So I have fallen in love with this little girl as well (as she is some of the most wonderful and best parts of her Daddy) and the more time I spend with her, the deeper it goes, but will write more on that experience in another entry.

So, here I am…. Vulnerable….In love, all encompassing….and happier than I’ve ever been despite that it’s not easy….

Still learning….

When you know, you know

When you know, you know…. Or maybe you didn’t know yet, because circumstance couldn’t allow such knowledge….. or hell, maybe someone else knew…
As we approach Valentine’s Day, which is albeit, an overly commercialized day, but the intent is the celebration of love; I choose to share with my readers….I’m no longer “Waiting”…. Give that a minute… Think of my blog title… There we go, “ah-ha moment”, I’ve subtly brought you up to speed… I was trying to build suspense there! 😉 .. I’m no longer waiting for my prince charming, and despite some ill timing and challenges that the future will hold, I couldn’t be happier….

Now people, please know, when I created this blog and coined the term “Prince Charming”, I by no means searched or waited for perfection or royalty or wealth, or anything else for that matter that would be associated as “princely”..But I was waiting for my match; I was waiting for imperfections I could love perfectly, and someone that would do the same for me in return… I think he may have even read “To whom it may concern…”…

Prince Charming didn’t come riding in on noble steed and sweep me off of my feet, to ride off into the sunset together…. Nor was he even a viable option for romantic interest that was considered and pursued…. He was a surprise…As I’m sure I was to him….

My very best and dearest male friend, had a relationship end, and some other life changing events happen last summer…And as a support, I spent many hours talking, speculating, and trying to help him solve out some things as a sounding board to vent to.. We spoke endlessly; there were words, there were tears, there were hugs, there was consoling, and there was comfort… There was a vulnerability that made our friendship deeper….

“Uh – oh “ , you’re thinking… But no, I wasn’t poaching my best friend nor taking advantage of a situation. Nor was he transferring/projecting anything onto me during any of this. If anything was developing, I (and most likely he) was oblivious to it… At the time anyhow… And for someone who is painfully self aware, it’s funny that these emotions developed without me having a clue. Perhaps it wasn’t necessarily not having a clue, but more of a set boundary: he’s my best friend, of course I care. “It’s only him”….

Not everyone was as oblivious though….

My very astute and observant mother brought things to light…Where some may describe my mother as pushy or loud (and yes, Mother, I know you’re reading this… I’m sorry, but it’s true); I see her as straightforward and honest… She will tell you truth, whether you want to hear it or not… And sometimes without necessarily thinking about what the affect or outcome that truth may have..But that’s Mom… I’ve known her my whole life, and I’m used to this about her… And now, so are others…

Mom and I were out for a drink at a local pub when I received a text from my friend; just casual chit chat, “how are you?/what are you up to?”. He’s my friend, Mom knows him, so I told him that Mom and I were out for a drink, and if he was out and about he was more than welcome to join us… He showed up…
“There’s an elephant in the room”, my mother announced, “I want to talk to the two of you”… Thinking maybe a joke or amusing anecdote was coming, he and I glanced at eachother and smirked, “ok Mom, go ahead”…..

The sip of wine I just took almost escaped my mouth with a sputter/choke when my mother spoke next, and for a split moment I think I contemplated crawling under the table to hide, but just sat in shock… I’m pretty sure my mouth may have been open, searching for words, like a gasping cod fish (I hope this imagery suffices in relaying my shock to you)… “My daughter is in love with you… I know her and I know how she is around you…It’s love…”

Oh God, Oh God, Oh God!!!…. The best relationship I’ve ever had with a man, done, gone, finished….Months of awkwardness flashed in my minds’ eye.. He’d be cool and collected at first, saying he’d want to keep the friendship and my mother’s obviously false observation didn’t bother him in the least. But there would be that awkwardness that would be there, he’d wonder if what she said were true.. Our friendship would dwindle, we would talk and see eachother less…We would become a casual “hi how are you?” when running into eachother in passing…. Damn my mother and her assumptions, she killed my friendship with someone who I had so much in common with and enjoyed having in my life… **sigh** oh well… she didn’t mean to….

He had his eyebrows raised as I think he was in as much shock of the statement as I was.. “Um… ok?”…..He looked at me… At this point I was shaking my head and looking down at the table, still mourning the destruction of our friendship in my mind; when I finally found my words again, “Mom, I don’t think…”

“I’m not done..” she continued… No chance given to protest, or to salvage my awkward friendship, how rude! She interrupted me! “You’re in love with my daughter too.. I see how you two look at eachother, you both light up when in eachother’s presence…Now I don’t know what you two will do about this, but you should at least talk about it.. That’s all I’m going to say… Now there’s not an elephant in the room anymore and you two can quit tiptoeing around this”….

Well, that’s interesting.. I continued to gape at her….

Ah, good ol’ Mom… I see this, so now everyone has to see it, I think you’re bullshitting eachother, so knock it off….. Essentially…..

I think we brushed off the conversation and continued on with the evening… totally capable of changing topic with my known charm and wit of course… until he and I were able to talk after… away from Mom…

Needless to say, we talked about it… and I haven’t lost my best friend.. 🙂 

The End

You know, I couldn’t even tell you what the argument was about, I honestly couldn’t. At that point, he was at the height of his depression and self medicating regime and I was fed up to the point that I fought back when provoked instead of just letting it go with the thought “he’s having a rough time, he’s sick and doesn’t meant it”.

We were driving home from his mother’s house, both seething, the tension in the car was palpable. “You’re such a dumb cunt, I really don’t know why I’m with you”. My first thought to cross my mind was “he’s lucky he’s driving, I would smack him across the face for that”. I remember the anger that day, I’ve never had it recreated. But the man I loved and took vows with just called me a derogatory name and inspired a thought of violence; there’s something wrong here.
“I don’t even know if I want children anymore”… I asked him what he meant, thinking I had misheard him. One of our common goals as husband and wife, what we worked toward, why I stuck around to try and help him as long as I did, why I kept our marriage on life support; was just dashed in that moment. In that moment the glue that was holding my battered heart together, gave. My shoulders heaved with two heavy sobs as silent tears rolled down my face..For those that know me, when I am upset/angry, I don’t tend to yell, I am quite efficient with my words and don’t require more audibility to get my point across. But that day, in the confines of our little Pontiac, I screamed… Every hurt that I’d been holding in, every injustice, every argument; I let out in a matter of minutes. I screamed until I hurt and could barely speak from the hoarseness of throat… “Then why am I even bothering?! I’ve been patient!.. I’ve tried to help!.. I’ve been a good wife!.. and now this is what I’m getting?! Why are we doing this?!!!”… I then sat in silence the remainder of the car ride home.

During the roller coaster my marriage had become in the end, there was a pattern in our final months together; a fight, he’d threaten to leave, a teary argument from me, he’d say “maybe we should get a divorce”, I’d beg him not to go outlining everything we could do to work on the marriage (or what I would do, as if I had to convince him I was worth staying with), he’d leave our home for a few hours, he’d come back, we would both apologize (regardless of whom was wrong), and go about our daily routine and living our separate lives under the same roof……

That day when we got home, the pattern attempted one final repetition. “I think we should get a divorce”, he scowled at me shortly after we got in the door. “Fine”, I was defeated. He said he was leaving, huffing around our apartment and throwing things in a duffle bag, “he meant it this time”… I sat quietly and just stared at the wall. Accepting a dream was crushed; even though throughout the last year things were slowly dying, I still held onto hope, love would get us through; that day I accepted that The Beatles were wrong, love isn’t all you need. He prolonged physically leaving our apartment as much as possible, even saying he needed to have a quick shower before leaving as he wasn’t sure where he was going or for how long. When I heard the water of the shower start, I came out of my catatonia to get up from my spot on the couch go into his jacket pockets and retrieve the key to the apartment. I then wrote a quick note stating that “he was leaving and withdrew his interest from the rental agreement to this apartment on this date” (thank God we were only renting at the time, things could’ve been worse); I had this ready for him before his departure from the apartment. No more games, no more psychological warfare; if he was leaving, he was REALLY leaving. I advised him I had his key, and if he was really leaving, he should have no problem signing this and to let me know when he’d like to pick up the rest of his things, I’m a reasonable woman and wanted this to go as smoothly as possible. He angrily signed the paper and left, he was pissed that I even thought to do anything like that I think.

A couple hours later there was a knock at the door, “I’m sorry” he said when I opened the door. I let him come in and we sat down in our living room, opposite sides of the couch, just looking at eachother. “I’m sorry too… this is done… I want a divorce”….

As said, I can’t even remember what the final argument was that brought our ending marriage to a head.. But I remember every emotion, every detail of the final words/actions, I can even recall the sensory memory of how much my throat ached from screaming….All this recalled from about this time of year….. Five years ago.

I’ve moved past my marrage, obviously… You’ve read some of my attempts, my lessons, my successes, and my failures at this… I’ve learned valuable lessons about how I act in relationships, what I want from my relationships, how to communicate in my relationships, and what I don’t want. My marriage showed me alot about myself, and it took quite a while to view it as a positive.

My life has continued, I’ve continued to grow, and the hurt has even faded…But I’m afraid the hurt never goes away completely, you just learn to refocus on the positives in life and the new opportunities while setting aside the ebb of slight ache in that part of your heart.

I still remember the end.

Still learning….