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.
He was a supremely good sport when I mined the day-to-day absurdities of our life together for comic effect. Narcolepsy, the Easter-ham induced wish for a kosher kitchen, the time the blond dog sprayed poo all over his computer speakers: it was all out there.
When we parted ways, there were inevitable questions from readers, wanting the dirty details, wanting the autopsy results.
I didn’t give them. I never would. I wrote of the grief, of the bewilderment, because for several years, that was my life—no sense in denying it. I wrote from my gut, because it was all I knew how to do. It kept me moving, standing, seeing.
I hate that we hurt each other. I am not proud of how it ended. We could not find the words we needed, we could not chart a course that led back to one another.
But I am humbled and grateful by the fact that we are learning, now, to find the words we need to raise our beautiful daughters together, yet not-together.
We met for coffee the other day, to talk about the girls, about possibilities for the future in our respective careers, personal lives.
We fumbled, some. We lurched, a bit. The words did not come easily, but they came more easily than they had before.
We are flawed, but dear Lord, we are learning. And, my God, do we love our finest collaboration: two remarkable, beautiful, curious, creative, compassionate daughters.
We are beginning to see one another again, I think. We are beginning to shake off the past, our no-longer-useful constructs of the other.
Over two mugs of coffee, we endeavored to see one another anew—although we did not give words to this. I sensed us recalling some of the good that we’d loved before in each other, recognizing new strength in each of us. We spoke of the girls—but we were there in the subtext, genuinely listening to each other again.
My girls are blessed to have such a loving father. For all of the sadness and anger and grief of the past few years, I recognize that I am grateful still to share this challenging venture of parenting with him. It will not always be easy, not even close, but I feel as if we are finally finding our way back to firmer ground, with care and mutual respect.
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