In fact, all's better than well. Things are good, and it's mostly been due to a change in perspective. I have, through all of this, kept my chin up and plowed through. And I knew I would come out on the other side just fine. And here I am. More than fine. The biggest and best change has been a change in the way I began looking at what happened to me. I've taken on a glass half full philosophy about everything, and staying positive has truly helped me gain so much distance on where I was when last I posted.
So where am I? Happily dating, for one. I have been in a relationship for nearly two months now, and it is going incredibly well. There are many things that are evident in my current relationship that were missing from my marriage, especially from the last few years. I am smiling. I am having fun. And that is what is most important. Chris is someone I knew, though vaguely, from my years spent with Greg. And, coincidentally, we recently figured out that we were seated at the very same table at a wedding less than a year and a half ago. He has been very supportive and caring, but I think the most redeeming quality he has shown thus far has been respect. I will likely blog more about this relationship as it grows, obviously, so for now I'll say I am just enjoying each day as it comes, living in the moment and living for the moments, with Chris and with my boys.
Speaking of which, the boys, as they've always been, have been incredibly resilient. They are truly flourishing. I never thought, when first separated, that I would be okay with the situation only because I wanted so badly for the boys to have a "normal" family, but I quickly realized maybe Greg and I were not meant to be, and that would be okay for the boys. Not to say I didn't love him, nor that I never afterwards had moments of disappointment. I am not in the least bit ashamed to have loved someone and been devastated by the dissolve of our marriage. But Greg and I have grown so far apart that I can't even envision us having a friendship, sadly. (Though again, for the sake of positivity, I am going to leave all Greg-related topics off the blog...) And having gained months of ground on things, I have also learned that what I thought I was feeling may not have been as strong as I thought at the time.
Anyhow, our living conditions have been thrown curve ball after curve ball, and we've waded through it all as best we can. The biggest change for my boys has been of recent as they are now at daycare, thriving (despite being sick more often than not, but that would be a blog post for the negative Natalie, so let's leave that one alone as I focus more on positivity). I hear nothing but great things from the daycare providers when I pick them up, and I can't convey enough how satisfying it is to know that I am raising them right, in that regard. I truly do try to be the best possible mom. My favourite moments are the ones we spend laughing, just being together on a daily basis. I am very fortunate to be able to have them so often, though Greg and I have been trying a more consistent pattern of him having his time with them too. That's likely been the hardest thing for me, because I never signed up to be a part-time parent and I don't want to miss out on moments in their lives. But I would never deny Greg access to his children, so long as he wants it, and my boys need their father - regardless of how I think or feel toward/about him, or the decisions he makes - in their lives. I have held to that notion this entire time. Being without them is sometimes agonizing though, and it's difficult to pass an entire weekend missing out on spending time with them. Thankfully so far I've been busy with skating, so my mind is often preoccupied. They change so often, though, so maybe weekends with their dad will be easier to deal with when they're older?
Isaiah, for example, is half-way through JK, and I notice new feats accomplished daily. He is a colouring fiend at present, creating masterpieces at every opportunity. I will be astonished if he doesn't pursue some creative avenue for his career later in life. He has made progress with his skating lessons as well, passing his first badge and beginning to move faster across the width of the ice each week. We're still working on his attitude, but he is his mother's son afterall.
Braylon survived his first trip to the dentist - where I was relieved to find out his two-year-old molars are in fact hiding out in his gums, ready to burst through in the next few months. His language has really developed as well, and he is making friends easily at daycare. He continues to be more active than Isaiah ever was, tuning out cartoons in favour of play and being physical at every opportunity. He is still a ham, and still stubborn as hell, but man is he ever a cutie!!
Caleb has probably been the one to change the most significantly, though his verbal skills continue to be delayed. I have noticed recently that he tries to vocalize sounds, but he has never been one to attempt to repeat the things you are asking him to say. I am sure it has something to do with having two older brothers speak for him, so it's not yet cause for concern. Not when other kids I know were nearly two before language became an outlet for expressing ideas. A week or so ago he moved up from the Infant room at daycare to the Toddler room, and though small in stature, he is better fit with an older-age peer group. His level of play has changed, and his dependency on his soother has diminished, thankfully! He is still pretty sucky and cuddly, in fact all three are mama's boys - he clings desperately to me each morning at dropoff despite having done it for two months now - but he is also becoming a little boy whose personality emerges more so each day.
So that's an update, in a nutshell. There is so much more to say but for the sake of time and other priorities, that's what you get for now. Hope you're still out there, reading audience! I leave you with a thought a friend of mine posted on Facebook today: "I am the author of my own life..." and what an unbelievable chapter is unfolding before me!! I hope you'll stay tuned...