If ONLY Mom and Dad had stayed married........My life would have been PERFECT! Those words rolled off the lips of my step son Chris with such ease during his five year stay in our home. His parents had divorced when he was six years old and his Mother had firmly planted in his mind that a life of perfection had been snatched from him thanks to the divorce. And you remember who wanted the divorce? Right?
At age 13, Bitty called Raylan on a Sunday morning two weeks after we got engaged - announcing that Chris was no longer welcome to live with her. She would drop Chris and his belongings off later that afternoon. Chris was coming to live with us - the enemy- full time. Best friends is how Chris characterized his relationship with his Mom. Overnight the relationship became one more characteristic of a distant aunt twice removed that you see on the occasional holiday.
Chris believed at his very core that an intact marriage between Raylan and Bitty equated to a life free of imperfections and injustices. In that life he would never struggle with being transgender. His Mom would never send him away to live with the enemy. She would never forget to pick him up for dinner or a weekend - attend a therapy session - attend his school play. Not only would his life be perfect so would his mother.
Trying to reason with Chris that PERFECTION in and of itself was a fantasy - divorce or no divorce was a waste of breath. The mere suggestion implied that his Mom - the person he loved most in the world was not only a liar, but had willingly chosen to not be an active part of his life for the years he lived here. Blaming imperfection on the divorce, my Hubby and by default me and the kids was a far easier pill to swallow.
Five years later we reached the breaking point, Raylan asked Chris to leave our home.
Ten years later, I no longer feel guilty for wishing I had never agreed to Chris living in our home for one week let alone five years. I accept the fact that I had a choice to say NO back then, but I chose to say yes instead. I didn't create the situation- nor was it my responsibility to attempt to fix it. My ego got the best of me thinking that I could somehow fix it. The only person who had power to influence change was Bitty and the only person with the power to change it was ultimately Chris.
I can't go back in time, but as the years pass by the more I choose to learn from the whole experience. I can and should say NO to taking responsibility for something I played no part in. As a Mother, I understand with certainty that my words carry a tremendous amount of weight with my child and the life they chose to lead.
PERFECTION has no place in the same sentence of "If ONLY Mom and Dad had stayed married." The very suggestion that perfection exists if you make the right choices - sets kids up for a lifetime of failure, disappointment and putting all the responsibility for their happiness in the hands of others.
Instead I choose to feed the notion that perfection lies in finding beauty in the cracks and broken pieces that come from the RIGHT and WRONG choices we will inevitably make during our lifetime.