The meaning of the word ‘Family’ is evolving; In my life, in my home, in my heart. When I first thought about starting a family, I envisioned a long marriage to the father, two children, a dog, etc, etc. The dream that I had been conditioned to want was what I was trying to build, was what came to mind.
I hadn’t imagined that we would struggle to get pregnant, or that I would have a high risk pregnancy when we finally did. I definitely didn’t imagine five years of trying for a second before a miscarriage tore me to shreds. I didn’t think I’d go through a divorce, or that I would realize I am G A Y (although, there were signs). I hadn’t pictured my desires around family to shift, and grow, and change.
But they have.
Early on in the breakup process, my ex and I agreed that we would continue to show up for our son, together. We talked about spending holidays as a family, and including future (serious) partners in the festivities. While the romantic relationship didn’t survive, our friendship thrived through it all. So, with that in mind, the idea of coming together for a holiday seemed easy, effortless.
To know this is one thing. To see it come to fruition is entirely different.
It’s hard to describe the exact feeling I had over the holiday weekend. Watching my ex, my son, and my partner interact in a friendly way felt like magic. This was the dynamic that I had been wanting, that I had been asking Universe for, and to see it unfold made my heart overflow with love and joy.
My ex and I have been told on multiple occasions that when it comes to our divorce process, we’re “goals.” Not to toot my own horn, or even his, I’m inclined to agree. We still support one another, and we each truly wish happiness for the other person. For us, though, it’s simple. We caught things before the deep resentment kicked in, and we focus on growing and nurturing our friendship.
Watching him get to know my partner brought that friendship to an entirely new level. Again, having faith that he will be cordial and friendly is one thing, but watching them interact was another. My heart was beaming as he spoke to me about her and her growing relationship with our son. His words were genuine, and positive, as was the smile on his face. He doesn’t just support me in coming out, he’s welcoming her with open arms, and I’m grateful.
Knowing that we can make this work, that we can grow our family instead of shattering it, is a dream come true. While a large chunk of this dynamic is good for our son, it’s good for all of us adults, too. Instead of wading through tension and putting on a friendly smile for the sake of the little guy, we’re able to share genuine conversations and laughter.
We’re all in this together.