It is so hard to be a parent alone. To be the one who sees everything, who lives with everything, who knows the day-to-day of the world in which both you and your children live--but to be judged, undermined, and counter-acted by someone who can act the sympathetic ear, the understanding "friend," the distanced advisor.
It has crossed my mind many times this past week, that as April approaches my marriage would have been 14 years old this year. I can hardly believe it. And as I take inventory of the current state of relationship and partnered parenting between me and my former husband, I find myself with no words, no thoughts, no breath.
As much as I like to think that I am not alone--that my daughters have other parental allies out there fighting for their innocence, their protection, their best interests--I realize that I am, indeed NOT alone. But not because of their fathers. Because of my friends, and the rest of our family who have only ever been diligent in their guardianship of my beloved children.
It kills me that a deliberate or careless word by one of these men--targeted to poison--can so often meet its mark. That no matter how much time goes by, I am always vulnerable in relationship to my children and my stewardship of their precious lives. I want to be above it, beyond it, better than it--but time and time again I come to tears.
I know that it will not always be this way. That I am not truly alone--and that as time goes by, my children will have the scales removed from their eyes and they will see me with more clarity. But even if they don't, I know that acting in their best interest--whether it makes me liked or not--is always the right choice. And I am so grateful for the instantly accepting arms (and protective indignation) of my best friend when I am reduced to blubbering and tears in her kitchen.