I remember the day I met her. It was an October day and it was at my son’s soccer game. My son, “Alex” was with his father this particular weekend and they were coming directly from the St. Louis Rams football game to “Alex’s” soccer game. I was there early as usual and all of a sudden there was “Alex” running onto the field. I looked but I couldn’t find my former husband, “Mark”. So I continued to enjoy the game smiling from ear to ear watching “Alex’s” enthusiasm. But part of me was wondering where “Mark” was when suddenly I spied him out of the corner of my eye standing away from the field next to a woman with a Rams shirt on. I realized this must be his new girlfriend, “Barb”. I found it strange that they continued to stay away from the field for the game.
So I finished watching the game and after the boys were saying their “good games” to the other team, I decided this was ridiculous so I walked over to her and introduced myself. Sure it was a bit awkward having the other parents who knew “Mark” and I as a couple watch me introduce myself to his new girlfriend. But I knew if I could demonstrate it wasn’t awkward to me, then everyone else would be a little more comfortable with the situation.
I treated her just as I would any one else that I was meeting for the first time. It was kind of funny though that she was talking to me all about the Rams players and who was injured and what the injury was, etc. I joked and asked if Kurt Warner (one of their old quarterbacks from 10 years ago) was still playing for them – knowing full well he had been traded years ago. It was my way of saying that all of that talk was lost on me because I don’t follow football.
And then it happened… I realized one of “Alex’s” friends from school had gone to the football game with them and was standing with “Mark” and “Barb” for the entire soccer game. This was a boy whose family I was closest to before the divorce and I had realized over the last year I had lost that friendship and “Mark” had kept it. Then “Alex” came over to “Barb” and gave her high-fives. And finally “Mark” then started introducing “Barb” to the parents of “Alex’s” school. And while doing so was saying to each of them they needed to get together for dinner and they were in agreement. At that point I became so overwhelmed with emotion I had to leave; I could barely say goodbye to my son. I walked to my car, trying not to run, got in and got out of there as fast as I could without squealing the tires. I made it halfway down the street and had to pull over because I was so overcome with tears I couldn’t see straight. I got a hold of myself and checked in as to why I was sobbing. Was I jealous? Did I want “Mark” back? What was going on?! And then it hit me…I realized it was because SHE was now going to share in those Mom moments that I wasn’t. I didn’t see that one coming at all.
Fast forward to “Alex’s” 8th birthday today (four months after meeting her). We celebrated at “Mark’s” house (my/our old house) with a simple dinner, some presents and another special teddy bear cookie I had made with a candle in it.
It was actually a pleasant night of the four of us sitting around the table; it wasn’t awkward as it had been in the past. It was quite nice. I thanked “Mark” for dinner and “Barb” for doing the dishes so I could spend time with my son. Then she and I hugged and while doing so I told her, “Thank you for loving my son”.
As I’ve said over and over, although it was me that chose to leave, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. “Mark” has found someone that I believe will be in my son’s life for a long time. I can choose to be at odds with her or to embrace her. I choose the latter of the two because that is who I am and I believe that is what is best for my son.