with Karli Larson
The transition from stay-at-home mom to divorced-and-working-full-time mom can be challenging, and sometimes very lonely. Throw in a few cats, an ancient dog and one very brave boyfriend, and life gets downright crazy. Join me as I talk through my thoughts and struggles, my miscalculations and my triumphs. We're in this together, you and I.
When I'm not writing here you can find me over at work on the TisBest Philanthropy blog.
This was before boyfriends entered the scene, as boyfriends have a way of coloring the Christmas dream, and why not? “No, Polynesia for Christmas is EXCELLENT. The challenge of decorating a palm tree! Stuffing coconuts with Grandma’s pierogies! Just you WAIT!”
Reality enters the mix. That’s okay. That’s more than okay. That’s good stuff.
But my magic, pre-serious-beaux, fabulous Christmas dreams were all situated, inexplicably, in a place that looked to my mind like Montana, even though chances were slim that this Philly girl would wind up married to a nice Montana boy. We wouldn’t be able to keep our hands off each other, I figured, so almost yearly I’d be squirting out cheesesteak-lovin’, range-ridin’ pups who had impeccable manners and called their mother “ma’am” at all times. My husband would be an absolute doll who adored me, the feeling would be mutual, and the in-laws would all get along because the ranch’s farmhouse would be 5000 sq. ft. of fabulousness. Impossible for them not to get along, with all that nice space.
Generations would pass, and pretty soon I’d be the matriarch and my darling husband would be the patriarch of an amazing massive quirky family. PERFECTION. And our appliances? Don’t even get me started.
HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
Now I find myself at the helm of a one-woman, not-quite-open sleigh. I am no simple girl with Montana dreams anymore. Funny: I did get close. Alberta, Canada. The Rockies. “God’s country,” my mother-in-law liked to say. Purty stuff. It really was.
But now. The thought of coupling. Terrifying. I am sorry. You know who you are. This sleigh just won’t get up into the air. Seems like it should. Me, two kids, two dogs, a cat, a small house, and so many questions. It must be the questions, weighing it down. I’d better figure out which questions to jettison, to lighten the load, see if I can get this baby flying again.
The single-mama life is teaching me lessons with every breath, but it’s a lonely life too, and far, far, far from what I’d dreamed for myself. I love my babies, my family, my animals, my friends, but sometimes, I do wish I could turn to someone with a heart as big as Montana, as big as the Wild West. And give a heart that big right back to that person. And be sure I’m not going anywhere, and neither is he.
I miss it. Can’t help it. I’d like to get there again. But right now, fear hovers overhead like a thick blanket of clouds, and I can’t see that Big Sky.
So here’s to open sleighs, open hearts…and open skies. Happy holidays, all.
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