Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Last night on the phone Baron asked me why I sounded so "bluesy". I answered that it is because of Valentine's Day. He was puzzled. I explained, that every year on Valentine's Day, I look back on how much my life has changed in the last 7 years. It's a mile marker on the road of my life. My youngest son, Aaron, was born 7 years ago tomorrow morning. On that day, holding my baby, with my other children coming to visit, I thought I was happily married. Not blissfully, or ecstatically, but comfortably. Permanently, I thought.
There was a lot I didn't know.
6 years ago, Aaron celebrated his first birthday. That first year, with 3 children in grade school and a baby at home, with me back to teaching full-time, had been rough. I was tired all the time. But still, I didn't know anything more than we had had a rough year. I figured in a couple more years, as teaching got easier and everyone got a little older, we would have more time for "us" again. 3 months after Aaron's birthday, on Mother's Day no less, he said he wanted a divorce.
5 years ago, I had weathered 3 months of living with a man who didn't want to be married anymore but couldn't afford to move out, then a painful separation, learning to be a full-time single working mother, and the loss of almost 65 pounds. My divorce would be final in a month, and all the jewelry ads on the radio made me cry. I didn't know who I was any more. I had been a married woman since I was 22. Valentine's Day was incredibly tough that year.
4 years ago, I was divorced and incredibly enough, ENGAGED. I had had my first date with Larry in August of the previous year and gotten engaged in October. Yes, I know, I am the poster child for how not to handle a divorce. Rule #1 - Don't marry the first man you fall in love with. But I digress. THAT Valentine's Day, although I don't speak of it much out of respect for my significant other, was probably the most romantic one I have ever had. I had celebrated Aaron's 3rd birthday with him earlier in the day. I slipped away for a romantic overnight with Larry. He had roses on the table, a box of chocolates, and a sexy teddie. He had candles lit in the bedroom. He had made dinner for me, and then we spent the rest of the evening in the bedroom by candlelight. It was great, but unfortunately, the romance between us was short-lived.
3 years ago, I was alone again, separated from Larry and on my way to my second divorce. Still, Larry and I were having second thoughts about splitting up and on that day, he slipped a balloon, some candy, a rose, and a card into my car at work. I came out to find a very romantic surprise. It was a bittersweet moment. We finalized our divorce a few months later.
2 years ago, I was in limbo. No boyfriend, no prospects. Everything about Valentine's Day made me cry. My life was so drastically different than it had been just 5 years before, and I didn't think I would ever meet someone. Single mothers of 4 are not hot tickets on dating E-bay.
Last year, I had just met Baron the month before. He surprised me with a dozen pink roses at work, something I very much loved. It was very thoughtful and romantic. I was very surprised, and I love surprises. I didn't know then how much he would come to mean to me, but I knew we had something special.
This year, I am still with Baron. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I have a few tricks up my sleeve for him. And it's Aaron's birthday! It's a retrospective kind of day.
PS. The jewelry ads still make me cry.