By: Mia L. Hazlett
The laughter radiating throughout my home left me motionless on my stairs. My daughters created the perfect snapshot of joy, which only needed to exist in my mental memory box, not on film. My two oldest tried their best to make their 10-month old sister’s walking debut come true. Apparently I caught the collapse, as I witnessed the giggling pile taking over the carpeted living room floor.
I sat unnoticed on the stairs with tears in my eyes. A year ago I wouldn’t believe this moment could ever happen. Signing my marriage away, living under the roof of friends and family, and struggling to get my book published, left me with little hope my blessing would ever arrive. Now I resided in my own home with my kids rolling around the living room floor. Finally, after struggling and struggling; I tasted tears of joy.
The funny part of all of this, my ex wanted to move in with us. He told me if he knew I was pregnant, he would have stayed. To my friends that meant something, but to me that meant, my two daughters and I weren’t enough. I cried when he signed us away in the attorney’s office. Now I was so grateful for his ignorance. He gave me complete custody of our children and hadn’t showed his face in the past ten months. My oldest was repulsed by him. My middle child wasn’t old enough to form her own relationship with him, so she copycats her sister. If I decided for an introduction to take place with my youngest, it would be on my terms, not his begging. Having full custody gave me that right.
I wasn’t acting out of spite. This was my family now. He didn’t want us when he had us. Our reward and blessing was not to be shared with those who left the struggle before the storm came. It was to be cherished by those who pulled out their umbrellas and danced in the downpour.