I was a single Mom from the start with my Daughter.
My husband Steve didn't enter our lives until my daughter Emily was seven.
She is now 20 and has one more year left to college.
It was extremely different in those beginning years.
I was constantly stressed by court with my ex. Not knowing what to do with my life. Not knowing what to do with a child.
I was immature, bitter and impatient. Worst of all I was mean.
Every little thing would set me off. For those of you with young kids you know that can sometimes be a lot.
My response was yelling and blinding rage.
In my head though I was a superior mom. Pushing her to be better then me. No tv, forcing her to study this and that in her spare time.
I was too young to see it but all of my pushing was not giving her more knowledge.
It was giving her anxiety. She developed a stutter.
Steve came into my life.
I would like to say that I became a better person right away.
No, it was more of a fake it until you make it.
I faked being a better person while we were dating.
I could not let him see that side of me. Who would marry that.
Then a funny thing happened. I didn't have to fake it anymore. Happy and calm and loving was actually how I felt.
Our family of three worked. Em loved Steve and saw what a real father was suppose to be. Patient, loving, responsible. And I became the same. I had to be his equal.
I still remember the first time I caught my daughter lying to me. It hit me like a bucket of water. Not because she lied but because I realized in my head it was always the two of us against the world. In my head I was the only person she needed and trusted. In my head she was open and honest and came to me for help.
I don't know what Gilmore girl fantasy I was living in. In real life she never came to me with her problems and never talked. Typical teenager.
As most of you know our family grew by one more. I stopped caring about having the perfect child, obviously lol, and started caring about a happy child.
I have patience when my son takes my expensive Urban Decay eyeshadow and uses it to draw boats on the bathroom wall. They really are the best colors. With this patience is guilt that 17 years earlier I would have gone into a screaming rage with his sister.
Last week Flynn brought me an old photo album.
The first photo of my daughter and I was in the cover.
He loved seeing his sister as a baby. I flipped through it. Sad because we look so happy but I don't remember many happy times.
I decided to clear out the album and put the photos on the wall. I pulled the glossy 4x6's out of their plastic sleeves. The only one left is the first photo of us in the cover. I pop open the latch and am greeted with florescent pink, not the white fuji photo back I was expecting.
There tucked behind the photo is an index card covered with a child's wobbly penmanship.
It is from a kid's book I don't even remember reading to her.
"I LOVE YOU FOREVOR
ILL LOVE YOU FOR ALLWAYS.
AS LONG AS IM LOUVING MY MOMY YOLL BE"
I can feel the tears on my face before I even mentally realize I am crying.
She survived having a selfish, bitter, mean mother. Not only that she loved me.
I put the card back and shut the latch on the album. It will stay in it's spot. It will sit in the sunlight in my living for as long as I breathe to remind me.
It will remind me that there is always time to fix things. That I love my daughter even more for her imperfections that I had tried to erase. That she will love me no matter what, and when the time comes that she is over whelmed with her own children I can help. I can remind her that things get better and they will always love you.
So once again todays blog was not about photography. I would love if you let me know your Aha parenting moments as well. If you don't feel comfortable sharing in comments, message me! I want to hear your stories too!