For my birthday I have a tradition I have decided to uphold . I run a half marathon on the weekend closest to my birthday. I invite my friends to come run or walk or just hang out at the finish line, then we go and eat!
As I run I think about the previous year, all the people and things I am so thankful for. It is a great practice that I want to include more in my daily life of living beautifully exhausted. Each year I have unique events that form my memories and people that play recurring parts, exit the stage or make their debut. Each person plays such an important role.
In the past few years, I have had significant cast change in my life. Not the least was two years ago on my birthday. Mr. Wonderful and I had been dating for nearly 6 months. Our lives were increasingly intertwining, So it seemed the right time for me to meet Mr. Wonderful Jr. Following a sunny day with my cherubs at school, I commuted home to my lovely roommates. We chatted and celebrated my birthday with a simple dinner. Mr. Wonderful and I had arranged for me to meet he and junior at a local bohemian ice cream shop in our downtown area after dinner.
I was incredibly nervous. Mr. Wonderful Jr. is the pride and joy of Mr. Wonderful. This young man had been the center of his universe and we were moving toward blending our lives together. My beautiful boy (who is now an incredible man) had been my pride and joy, so I had a deep understanding of the gravity of this meeting. I love kids and I knew the minute I meet Mr Wonderful Jr., it would be a metaphorical point of no return. It was so important to me that we hit it off or at least he didn’t hate me.
I walked across the parking lot to the ice cream shop as Mr. Wonderful and Mr. Wonderful Jr. walked along the sidewalk. It was a moment I will never forget. A handsome, shy, blonde boy meekly looked up at me and I could feel the gravity of the moment. We ordered our uniquely flavored ice creams, then awkwardly sat at a nearby table. in my usually form I asked a lot of questions and attempted to engage this quiet child in conversation about school, sports, and other activities. He was painfully shy and seemed to be challenged by every question. It was quickly evident to me how different Mr. Wonderful’s sweet boy was from my boisterous Beautiful Boy. I left feeling so cherished and valued, that Mr. Wonderful would share with me his most important relationship.
In the years since that birthday meeting, I have grown to really love Mr Wonderful Jr. as I continue to fall deeply in love with his dad. I am constantly asking myself how I can love them both well everyday.
Lately, with the Beautiful Boy off adulting across the state and Mr. Wonderful Jr. navigating the middle school world, I daydream about how they will hopefully meet someday. I wonder what tales they would tell each other as they get to know one another. Maybe someday I will get to watch that unfold.
This is all very tricky business! There is so much love to go around in this house and yet I am so sensitive to sharing these amazing young men together. I want to love big and enjoy them both for the uniqueness they bring to our evolving family. It is an endeavor of great love that takes all of our focus. A true act of beautiful exhaustion!
What tricky relationships do you have in your family? What can you do to blend them well? How do you love each other well in your family, even when it is awkward?