For nearly a decade, the entirety of my twenties, I’ve lived in Philadelphia. Although I was born here, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I lived here for an extended amount of time. When I first moved here to do work at a theatre company, I hated it. I remember crying, often, during the 9 month apprenticeship. The first time it snowed, I nearly lost it when I realized I was still expected to be at work. I was not in North Carolina anymore, and I did not like it. My plan was to leave as soon as my contract was up, but I got a role in a show, and then another role, and then a teaching job, and then, before I knew it, it was 9 years and 1 child later, and now I’m a real live Philadelphian.
Life as I know is about to change forever.
Three years ago, when I became a single mother, I never imagined that I would ever meet a man who would be worthy of me, the mother, and my child. I didn’t know how dating would work with a child, wasn’t interested in introducing different men into my daughter’s life. I had just decided that I’d be alone until she was at least in her teens. Imagine my surprise when she was 17 months old and I met a man who would completely change everything I thought about love.
Look, even before I became a single mom, the relationships I’d had really didn’t give me much faith in the institution of monogamy and partnership. It wasn’t that I had been dogged out, I hadn’t (well, maybe once), it was just that every relationship I had been in always seemed so complicated. I mean, how difficult is it to tell me when you’re going to be home from work? How hard is it for you to not act secretive when a girl “friend” calls? Why is it necessary to play cat and mouse games in order for you to remain interested? Now that I think about it, I was over it before I even became a mom. Anyway, that’s a different blog post.
Back to my man. From our very first meeting and then subsequent telephone conversation, we had so much to talk about. We’re not much alike at all, but his strengths balance out my weaknesses, and vice versa. He’s much more patient than I am, and I am much more spontaneous than he is, and it works. It actually works so well that I’ve decided to relocate so that he, Ayva and I can be a family. Yup. We really, really work.
So, what would make a single mom get to this point, where she’s willing to uproot her life, and the life of her child, and move way across the country? One word. Love. Oh, don’t worry, this isn’t that “‘But I love him!’, Jerry Springer, I can’t be without him even though he’s no good for me” type of love. This is the real deal. It’s consistent, grounded, family love. There’s love for him in there, love for me, lots and lots of love for Ayva. And God. He’s the glue.
I am so grateful to have met someone who sees the fact that I have a daughter as an asset as opposed to a liability. He recognizes the sacrifices I make and how hard I work to take care of my child, and he admires me for that. Seeing me, as a mom, as a fantastic mom, is one of the reasons that he loves me so much.
I am blessed.
Every day I have to tell myself that I deserve this love. I deserve this love.Sometimes, when I think about the mistakes that I made in my life, when I consider how much further I could be in my career, or how much more I could have accomplished in my life, I don’t believe that I deserve anything good. I don’t believe that I should have happiness or love like this. I am so thankful that my man, and God, disagree.