A year ago things were different. Very different. I was living alone in Oaktown. I went out every week with my single friend Betty. My grandmother had just passed away, my second niece born, and my best girl was about to get married. All of these events wrapped up in an immensely single red bow. My best girl promised me that if I was still single within a few months she'd move me into their spare room so I wouldn't have to live alone any longer. I mean, what other option would there have been if I wasn't already a happy cat lady? I liked her cats at least.
The plans always change. No matter what. We make choices, sometimes without thinking, seeing or knowing. But we do. My romantic ideals of being married young, having kids young all changed without me knowing the second I stopped going to church, moved to New York City, pursued an education and a career in Early Childhood Special Ed. I made these choices, and have not regretted a single step on that path. I mean, I could have done without that year the preschool I was directing flooded and all the kids got lice for three months... but such is life. I didn't shave my head and looking through hair with popsicle sticks became a consistent dramatic play theme in my classroom.
So a year ago.... I didn't know I was about to meet The Tim. No one knew. I existed in a state of wondering. Longing? Missing people who were long gone, working in a classroom that demanded my heart and soul, and as it turned out, blood. No reciprocity to balance the scales. Not yet. I grew weary of it. Hit that proverbial wall that one only knows they've hit when they run smack into it and fall down. Should I have been wearing a helmet? Perhaps. But things shifted with all the life events of those I love. I shifted too with the death of my Grandmother, the birth of my niece, the wedding of my best girl. Time to own the choices I've made to be a really good teacher, to stay single, to have chosen the elusive men who weren't gonna be there for me in the long run. Maybe they wanted to- it doesn't really matter does it? Because one Sunday almost a year ago I met The Tim. At my favorite restaurant, eating my favorite food. He was wearing red shoes, a quick wit and he was really into my big teeth.
This isn't a post about teaching. It's about how life changes to make all things possible when we most need it. At 20, 25, 28, 30, all these birthdays have come and gone and my "plans" for a family with them. And now I have one. It's not what I planned, or expected. I have The Tim everyday. I have his kids, half the week, and I adore them. They are not mine, but I am theirs. Plus, Step Lady sounds much more elegant than "my dad's younger girlfriend," Don't you think?