I think back to falls of the past few years. Fall of 2005. I was deep into my third trimester of pregnancy…excited and anxious and innocent as could be. Safe and secure in the shelter of marriage, the promise of family, a new home purchased, trips to Ikea to buy furniture and a new kitchen. I reeked of “normalcy.”
Fall of 2006. The marriage implodes. My ex terrorizes me, then moves out. I wonder if I can survive alone in the house with my nine month old baby. I remember being being petrified with fear when it got dark, earlier and earlier as the fall wore on. I was certain someone would come in and kill me and my baby. I felt so vulnerable, so alone. I began an on-again, off-again affair with my husband, trying desperately to save a sinking ship.
Fall of 2007. I am no longer afraid to be alone in the house with my son. I’ve rented out our basement now, to help with the mortgage. I am still holding on to a thin thread of hope that the marriage might survive. I am 90 lbs thinner than fall of 2006. I don’t know my own body. I hope I can hold on to my ex through sex, through my new, size 2 frame, but he is only more and more repulsed. In November, he tells me that he has found another. I sink along with the ship.
Fall of 2008. I am slowly but surely making my way through the legacy of these past autumns. Now I am on my own, triumphant. For the first time in years, I am financially independent. I have gained just a little weight back and feel healthier in my body. I can focus on things other than my separation and divorce. Like the election. I have started to read the news again, to read novels, to read memoirs, to become interested in the outside world. I am emerging out of my dark night, into the dawn of something…but I don’t know what. And that’s ok.
Fall of 2008. Sami and I are a family of two. We are complete. We are whole. A dynamic duo. It’s a wonder. We are surviving, and maybe even thriving.
Tonight, I am still exhausted. But I feel centered, ready for whatever this fall might bring. For the first time in two years, I am more filled with gratitude than resentment.
“Look at me!” declares Sami at the playground, throwing crimson leaves into the air. I join him, trying not to cry, because he is saying that thing that big boys say.
“Look at me!”
Look at us, making leaves fall like rain.
Welcome to this blog - my chronicle of the illuminating, character-building path of single parenthood. I'm making this up as I go along. My life is my practice, and my five year-old son is my greatest teacher.