Umm, I never know how to talk about divorce, marriage and motherhood in the context of having done it once before and on the precipice of doing it again (minus the new baby part). Finally, in about my seventh year post divorce, I figured out what to call my former partner in marriage: "wuzband." From the start of my Divorce Journey, I felt a strong distaste for the term "Ex." My mind's eye saw a red circle with a diagonal slash across the middle. There is something so negative about "Ex" to me. Like I've ex-xed this person out of my life. Well, I cannot do that, nor do I want to do that. He's my only child's father. With him I shared 20 formative earlier adult years of my life. I didn't and don't hate him. He's a good man. A great father….
I resorted to calling Him "my daughter's father," knowing that never felt right and had it's own loaded cultural meaning and baggage. Finally, when a sitter of several years exclaimed: "Oh, you WERE married to Grace's father?!?" I decided it was time for "wuzband." The origins of the term are from this clever friend.
Once I called my wuzband to let him know that his alma mater, a research university, was going to be interviewing me for a story in one of their publications. Somehow it came up that he felt very strongly that I NOT use the term, which I have for years: "single mother." To him, that meant I was destitute and he was absentee. Whatever. I admit that playing the "single mother" card came in handy at times, just as "the 'A' card"* still does on rare occasions. (*"A" being Autism.)
Now that I'm about to tie the knot again, I'm at a similar loss for words. I guess I could say "tie knot again," like I just wrote. I'm getting married…again…sounds so…I dunno. Then there's "re-marrying." Someone noted that sounds like I'm married the same man again. Not. What about just getting "married," well, yeah, that could work but what is it…? My ego that doesn't like that? And then there's the question of my daughter's father again….(Yeah, I'm not supposed to give a freakin' flip at 50 about these things….) Maybe. Maybe that comes at 60….
And maybe it's the fire of perimenopause that's been getting my dander up now that societal stereotypes seem to be cropping up again, this time about my new living arrangement. First there were the assumptions that I divorced…a "BAD" man, that he must have cheated or beat me or didn't pay child support, surely. I mean, we can't believe Divorce can work out for Good and that two Good People can decide to part ways, can we? I mean, where's the Trauma-Drama in that, for Pete's Sake?!
And now, I've moved into a new home that I'm sharing with my future mother-in-law and my fiance and my daughter. So that of course means I'm a saint. (Just like it does that I have a child with a severe disAbility.) That I must be terribly tolerant or to be pityed. I mean, all mother-in-laws are shrews, right?
Nah. I say write your own story. I wrote one of Peaceful Divorce. Of a Challenged Child that brings to the world the Cherished Gift of her Presence. And a future Mother-in-Law who's an absolute hoot and my friend. Life. It is about what we expect. About what we Create. Make it Good. It can oh so be. (With a few bumps, nicks and cuts. But with an examined, nurtured heart, it all heals back. Even Stronger.)