This past weekend, my ex-husband and his wife came to our town for the first time. With my daughter finishing fifth grade and beginning middle school in the fall, celebration among family was essential. While I was thrilled that the father of my children would finally come see where and how his children live, I was stressed that he and his wife would find fault with things when they got here. I worked to make sure that they would be comfortable and attended details such as tourism guides, restaurant and hotel recommendations, and arrangements for a family lunch. These are people with whom I share difficult history, but I am tied to them, and if they came and had a wonderful time, they would continue to return and share in the life that my children have here. This is what I want for my children, a growing relationship with their dad, a secure place in the heart of their step-mother, a comfort zone of approachability for times when discussion, advice, or negotiation of some sort is necessary.
Having the company of my family helped me feel better--cognizant, calm, graceful. Their steady presence helped make this visit with my children's dad and step-mother a successful one. Having cleared this hurdle gracefully and landed safely on the other side, I can approach the next visit with more confidence. To my husband and Juju, thank you. Thank you for being my ponies in the ring.