Yesterday I was emotional.
I realized that Norah recently turned two, Spencer just graduated from preschool, and what seemed like all of a sudden Colin was moving from the same room at daycare that he had been in for 18 months to an entirely different floor of the building with new teachers.
I was overwhelmed.
I had about three good cries in the middle of the night when I realized what it was that was really upsetting me. It was the absence of their father, yet again. I told a couple of friends about it yesterday through teary eyes, and another through a text.
The text was from a friend who has also spent years as a single mom. Even after years of being apart from her former husband, she was still sad sometimes at milestones, like graduations and weddings. Even her husband, who is not the biological father, was sad about it sometimes.
It dawned on me... I am not sad about the milestones necessarily, although they are bittersweet and pull a mama's heart strings. I am not sad for myself. I am just sad, and it is OK to be sad.
I am sad for my children and the void in their lives.
I am sad for my former husband, their father, and all that he is missing out on.
I know, however, that I cannot take on that burden for him, or the responsibility of his actions, as tempting (yet unappealing) as it may feel at times.
He may not realize how much he's missing out on, and that also makes me sad for him.
But one day, he will realize what he's missed out on- the years, the milestones, the memories, the laughter... and if his heart is softened and his mind is clear, he will be sad.
That makes me sad too, because I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.
It is OK to be sad sometimes.
I know that I'll always have moments I'm sad about, like these, but I am healing, and it will not bog me down continuously like it had months before.
God has us. Through all of the changes all along the way, he has been by your side, comforting us and leading us through.
These milestones may produce sadness, but it cannot and should not overwhelm the joy, the accomplishment, the love, and the pride I feel over my children and all that they are becoming. They're beautiful, wonderful little people.