Pictures

by mssinglemama on July 9, 2011

The pictures sneak up on my when I least expect them.

They fall out of a book I haven’t opened in years, or peek out from underneath a folder on my mother’s desk. Why are they here? Chance, I’m sure. But there they are. Pictures of my ex-husband and I at our wedding. Tears in both of our eyes, his arms wrapped around me in the tightest hug, confidence in our eyes – knowing we wanted each other.

After leaving him, I couldn’t bear to look at them. I would see the pictures and tuck them away, back into their hiding places. I made myself save them so Benjamin could have them. So, that one day when he has questions upon questions and wants to “see” that his parents were truly in love at a moment in time, for the reason of creating him – he’ll see that he was a product of something beautiful. And fortunately, for him, he never witnessed what came after that day.Now, five years later, I can look at the pictures. Hold them in my hand. Bring them closer for inspection. I look at the girl who thought she was a woman in the photos. I remember exactly what I was thinking, too.

“This is forever. I will be with this man forever and although I’m scared as shit about that, I love him and love is enough.”

I don’t call myself foolish. I don’t even feel any shame for making such poor judgment. In that moment I followed my gut which was steering me down the path I’m on now. And in that path, Benjamin also has a father who loves him very much.

—-

The night before leaving on a trip to Athens to drop Benjamin off at his father’s for a sleep over, I find myself at my dining room table with three other moms of boys. Two of them, one single and one a formerly single mom who is recently and happily married, live on the same street as me. The third, Elizabeth, lives Downtown but has come to spend the evening all the way up here in our suburb built in the 1950′s. It’s an old suburb in that sense and all of us live in the same, yet slightly modified, cape cod homes. “Charming bungalows” a realtor would call them.

Our children’s elementary school is right across the street, where they are all playing at the moment. Or are they there? We’re not really sure where they are at the moment but we know they’re safe because that’s how this neighborhood is, everyone looks out for each other. Children actually play outside all of the time and know each other and each house it seems has a young family inside.

The three of us who live here are trying to encourage Elizabeth to join us. We make jokes about the neighbors and what they must think of us single moms living on our own, mowing our own lawns, taking out our own trash, chasing our kids in the street when they’ve run off again to play with each other. We laugh and then all three of us who do live here agree that we never, ever want to leave.

And I feel my gut again.

That familiar tug. I feel that this is the beginning of another chapter. I work with my guys all day at Cement, but you need these women. You need friendships with other mothers. The night ends with plans for future parties down the street. We are all going to form a party swap, hoping that collectively all of us will have enough friends to bring that it will feel like an actual party. And maybe some clothing swaps as well. And the wine nights, those will be happening again on a regular basis.

Either way, I feel like I’m 10 again. I’m so excited to have met a handful of people who my gut is telling me are absolutely good for me in every way, and who will be around for a very, very long time.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Sassy Single Mom July 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

I’m so happy to hear you are finding more women friends whom you can just “be with.” We need each other to do life together and figure the little (and the big!) things out with.

There are different seasons in our lives, eh?

Here’s to this one! ;)

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Sili July 9, 2011 at 9:54 am

Love the post. You are so right. We are relational creatures and need other women that we can be close to and that we can truly open up with. Thank you for sharing! I’ll be looking forward to more.

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Liz July 9, 2011 at 10:36 am

I wish I had friends like that. I relocated to be near my family after my divorce and don’t have time to get out and meet anyone…men or women! It would be so great to have people that I could spend time with, while my kids were with me. I am a single mom of 2 girls ages 5 & 7 whose father is out of the picture, and its been challenging to have any quality adult time.

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Julie July 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Loved this and love all my single mom friends who have helped me SO much along the way.. When you talked about your neighborhood, it was like describing mine exactly! Well, minus the other cool mom’s on the street. Thanks for sharing something I think, most of us single mom’s share:) Makes me feel less alone in this unexpected outcome ya know? Like you, wouldn’t change a thing!

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Uncle Grunt July 9, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Nice. You are a very good writer. Time to move on, though. Life is good.

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rachael July 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

i hope one day i can live in my own house on a street like yours. be independent with my little boy. have other single moms as friends. sometimes it feels so lonely. haha.

xo.

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OwningSingle July 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Thats great that you have friends like that. Every woman needs that I think.

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SingleMama July 11, 2011 at 9:04 am

I would love to know other single moms in my area! I think it would help so much to have other people in the same position as myself.

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Ashley July 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I am so envious and jealous! I’m still currently residing at my parent’s residence 2 years after my abrupt and long, drawn-out separation from my daughter’s father.

Everything you’re doing and where you are in your life, as well as your night you just described, is exactly where I would like to be within the next 2 years.

Other single moms in the same position and place in their life would make for a wonderful support group as well as fabulous girlfriends. I’m very happy you have that. :)

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Melissa July 11, 2011 at 2:37 pm

I have this in my neighborhood too! I often think about advertising our mommy nights so as to expand out little gathering…maybe i will do that!

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bleu July 11, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Great post and your picture was beautiful, btw. I have found some great single mom friends since my divorce. It’s definitely great to bond and have that support.

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Michelle July 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

I too am a single mom, well that’s obvious because why would I be on this site otherwise? Anyway, I left my daughter’s father a little over a year ago and let me tell you…it has been the most difficult year of my life. When I decided to leave our unhealthy relationship, my gut told me that I needed to move back home to be around family and friends to help me through what was going to be a torturous year…well that move was right and wrong in so many ways. I’m back home, but we are now 1600 miles away from her father…which is ok some days, but he’s still her father and I want her to know him. I have never been so emotionally torn. I feel guilty for taking her so far away, but at the same time he was doing things that I did not want my daughter to be around. Some days I think “maybe he’s changed” and I feel like we should be together for the sanctity of “family”, but on the other hand I know that I deserve more love than he ever give me. I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking that daddy’s aren’t around. You should see how she lights up when she gets to spend time with him, she won’t let him out of her sight. I wish I had some other single mom’s to relate to. I have friends who are single mom’s, but for whatever reason it seems they don’t get what I’m going through. I just want what’s best for my daughter, but I also need to do what’s best for me so she can have a happy mommy. I hope someday in the near future I can make a decision that I’m at peace with and/or find an awesome neighborhood like what you have! Thanks for the blog!

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Sara July 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I will be there next time!

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Thrifty Vintage Chic July 14, 2011 at 1:34 am

ah, this is so true … and something like this, I am creating for myself and community of New Yorkers right now! This is the biggest reason that I miss college & high school days — the bevy of girlfriends and girls’ nights!

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demarse July 16, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I love the blog. It was very informational. But one about it i still can’t let go. it still hurts so bad.

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rachael July 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

the second i let his dad know i was pregnant, i was single. it isn’t so bad on most days. i usually wouldn’t change it for anything. but i don’t know many single mom’s at 27.. especially in the middle georgia (aka bible belt). also, let it be known i love me some God. :) xo

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Amanda Chapman July 29, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I love how you said that you don’t feel any shame anymore in your decision to marry him. I’m just recently divroced. I’m not there yet. I’m still in the, “How could I have made such an awful decision? How did I not see it sooner?” phase. But when you put it like that… it made sense. It helped me step closer to being able to say that myself. Thank you.

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anton August 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I really love this one..Looking for partners? Why don’t you try this site? http://1mate.org/

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