(I celebrated Wordless Wednesday...by not posting a word!)
Today, I finally started to realize the benefits that my daughters' circumstances allow them. It is easy to see the negatives in raising kids in a single parent home. What's harder to find - or at least harder for me - are the positives.
My girls have had to absorb a lot of information lately about their father, about his present and past mistakes, about his drug problem, and about how his mistakes have hurt me and members of his family. They have been sad, angry, hurt, disappointed, worried, and yet, surprisingly well-adjusted! I have encouraged them to feel what they feel, all of it, and have reassured them that it's still okay to love him.
They got to speak with him on the phone this weekend for the first time in months. They each took time alone behind closed doors to talk to him, and I let them have it. Later, they did tell me that he apologized to both of them. They told him about things going on in their life as well.
My ex can do some pretty hurtful things, but even I know that he loves the girls and have told them so. Sometimes, however, love isn't enough.
It occurred to me today that, however hard this has been for them, they are learning some really valuable lessons that can only help them in all of their relationships to come. They know that people aren't all good or all evil. They know that it's possible to be angry and still love someone. They know that you can love someone, and still live a full life without them.
In the past few years, I've gotten stronger at some things which I think will also teach them even more. I am learning how to set the boundaries in a way that protects them yet still allows them to have a relationship with their dad. I have shown that it's not okay to let someone hurt you (not physically, but in other ways) over and over again. And I hope hope hope that they are learning that it's possible to have a full life after heartbreak.
Thinking about it in this light makes it all almost worth it.