One of my biggest regrets to date was marrying my ex-husband when my daughter was too young to have a say in the decision. Before that union it was just the two of us, me and my girl. As a young, single mom with a beautiful, baby girl it was pretty easy to see us as the start of real life Gilmore Girls. I did my best to protect that special bond with her, even during the lowest parts of my marriage and the absolute blessing of my two sons. Unfortunately I didn’t always succeed in investing as much time in that bond as she deserved. After “the split” I viewed this new chapter as an opportunity to recommit to the individual relationships I have with all three of my children. Especially the little girl who taught me how to be a mom when I barely knew how to be an adult.
When I began to fall for my incredible girlfriend Casey, one of the first conversations I had with the brood was expressing to them that this was an “us” decision. I wanted to make sure that I learned from my first mistake and actively took to heart the fact that anyone that’s dating me is also dating them. When the bigs (my two oldest) and I sat down for a family meeting regarding the possibility of Casey moving in I empowered them with the freedom to always express to me any misgivings they felt. That if they felt uncomfortable at anytime with this new situation to come to me immediately. So when my sweet little Raven cuddled up to me one night and reminded me of this conversation I was nervous, but all ears.
“You told us that we should tell you if we ever have bad feelings about you and Casey, right?” Raven cautiously questioned. With my heart in my throat but my voice tempered, I assured her and asked for her to elaborate. Raven went on to tell me that she missed us, her and I. That she felt as though I didn’t have time to hangout with her ever since Casey moved in. Knowing she was probably right I sated my desire to self-criticize, and instead made a date. Tuesday nights would now be girls night, full of her choice of mindless television and self-care.
This week it was Project Mc2 and silver sparkle nail polish for her and bright red on me. Let’s start off with her television choice, this particular Netflix Original is about a group of teenage agents who work for an all-female secret spy network, so far so good. Actually, in all honesty it was pretty good as far as kids shows go. In one scene where the focus was on the team member whose specialty is combining chemistry and cooking, Raven told me how she wants to be a scientist when she grows up. When asked what kind of science she was interested in, my seven-year-old responded with Chemistry. Unsurprised by the coincidence I inquired further and she explained that she wanted to make things. I questioned if she meant inventor instead and her rebuttal was that she didn’t want recreate things that already existed but rather she wanted to create completely new things out of nothing. That she wanted to do science magic. This back and forth is a large contributor as to why I am now a fan of this show.
With the final credits rolling up the screen, freshly painted nails fully dry, and the clock nearing 9:30, I directed her to finish her chocolate milk and scurry off to bed. As she leaned in for a goodnight hug and kiss she stopped short looked me in the eye and said, “Thank you for listening.” There are those few moments where all of my self-doubt and internal self-deprecation have no choice but to shut the hell up; this was a big one. I know that I will never do this whole parenting thing perfect, nor will I ever be able to go back and alter past decisions, but at least if I can hold on to those four words expressed by one of the kindest creatures I have ever known, there’s a chance we might be doing alright.