“A step parent is so much more than a parent; they made the choice to love when they didn’t have to.” ~Unknown
Dear current lover of my ex,
I want to thank you for loving a man who was all wrong for me.
I know that we haven’t met and I don’t know when we will—but I feel a connection with you.
When my ex and I were in the tangled throes of learning to let go I told him that there was a special someone out there who would love him in the way that I just couldn’t.
He didn’t believe me—but I knew you existed.
I knew that there was a woman just for him, who would love nothing more than to be his—one who walked quietly and was supported, despite his chaos.
A woman who wouldn’t challenge him, but instead would just be a soft, little, brown bird who wanted most to feather a small nest of love with him—I know that you won’t ever fly away.
I am thankful that he’s found you and that you are teaching him to believe in love again.
Because no matter who we are or what we have experienced—we all need someone to show us that love is possible.
We need someone to look at us saying—even our small, dirty parts are worthy of love.
I know that he isn’t an easy man to love—but I know that you will see past that.
I also know that he may paint dark and tainted stories of me—that is okay—but it doesn’t change the fact that I am happy that he has you.
But more than that—I want to thank you for being there for my daughters.
I know that it isn’t easy to share a life with someone who has a past and seemingly comes with baggage—thank you for not seeing my two little girls as baggage.
Thank you for loving them like you love their father.
Thank you for taking the time to take them shopping and laughing with them. Thank you for making them chocolate chip pancakes and for cuddling with my youngest before bed.
My heart is honestly warmed knowing that they have another person in their lives who loves them.
And while I haven’t met you yet— I know that you must be special.
Because—despite the past—I know that my ex invited you into their lives because he thinks the sun rises and sets in your beautiful, brown eyes.
I know that you bring him comfort and that you reassure his soul—that he didn’t mess up his life as badly as he thought—and for that I am so thankful.
Because the truth is, none of us are perfect—but we all still deserve to be loved for exactly who we are.
I know that it may sound odd—all of this coming from his ex-wife.
I know that I could be jealous and mean and resent that my daughters have a new woman in their lives—but I just can’t be that woman.
I can’t pretend that things aren’t exactly as they are meant to be.
I hope that you show him what real love is, and that he doesn’t know what he would do without you.
I hope that he dreams of a future that is as entwined with yours—and I hope together you’ll bloom spectacularly.
I hope that you teach him to believe in forever.
I know that you will always take his side when we are having disagreements over our girls—and even for that I am thankful.
Because we all deserve to have someone in our corner—even when it is dark and filled with cobwebs.
But most of all thank you for loving him in the way that I hope to be loved someday.
Because in seeing that someone can choose him with his suitcases of mistakes and coats of what-ifs—helps me believe that someday someone will choose to love me in that way.
As odd as it may sound, it makes me dream of a time when we will all be together sharing in the amazingness of these two little, blonde angels—you with him, and someday, another man with me.
And it won’t be conventional, and we both may have more children added into the mix and new wedding bands holding our dreams close to our hearts—but it will be beautiful.
Because it will be the shared love of these little girls that will always make us family.
I hope someday that you will be there helping my daughters get ready for prom and wiping tears away on their wedding day—not because I won’t be there—but because they deserve plenty of love and strong role models in their lives as possible.
Thank you for being the woman who I could never be—and for taking the chance to love a once broken man.
Thank you for opening your heart to my little girls and showing them compassion and love—because truthfully, all of our lives are better because of you.
And for that, I will always be thankful that my ex-husband found someone like you to love.
Finding A Co-Parent: An Exploration in What’s Important.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/LaToya Muse
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