Monday, January 7, 2013

Two Roads to the Same Spot

I met Paul at our Senior Luau
in September of 1999.

I was 16 years old  and had a crush on another guy
but I still remember meeting him that night
and thinking that given his 6'5" stature
and my love of high heels
he'd be the perfect prom date.

By February of 2000 we were a couple.
High school sweethearts in a big way;
first loves and everythings.
Sitting next to one another
on the bench seats of his '83 Caprice Classic.

And we went to Prom
and he left for college
and it was la la la la love.

Prom 2000

But like most good, sweet,
and innocent things
it came to an end.

Because I needed fixing
and he tried but he couldn't.

Because I needed loving
and he tried but it wasn't enough.

Because I was a bottomless pit
convinced an 18 year old boy
could solve all my emptiness
and he tried but he finally gave up
when he knew I'd drown us both.

And it was sad and I was devastated.

And we tried to keep dancing
and stay friends
but it was too painful.

And our lives had become too different
and I threw myself into a lifestyle
that had no place for him.

And I sunk myself in a counterfeit place
where I could forget about him and he moved on.
He chose his own path in his own wood
and we didn't speak for about a year.

Until we did.

Until I found myself
wounded from my life and so very lost
and needing to speak to someone who knew
who I was before I was what I had become.

And he answered the call and he came,
because that is who he has always been.

And because sadness and loneliness
and being 20 is super confusing
and fraught with impulse and irresponsibility
I found myself pregnant.

And we had two different ideas
about what needed to happen
and I felt alone
and resentful
and angry
and rejected.

And it was so hard
and it was so painful
and I crucified him
in thought and action
to myself and to anyone who would listen
because the wound was so deep.

And it took me a million years
times a million years
to realize that I hadn't been the only one
having an experience.
That he had had plans and ideas too
and now they were changed.

And in April 2004
our beautiful boy was born and Paul was there.

And that baby came home to furniture
his dad had put together.

And the first time Lucas was sick,
Paul drove him around in his Suburban until 6am
 because the noise lulled him to sleep.

And we weren't together
but we managed to be parents.

We did birthday parties and doctors appointments.

Picked schools and insurance.

And it was still hard and it was still complicated
and we made mistakes aplenty
but we limped along.

Limped off into separate personal lives;
mine which lead to another child 4 years later
and his into his own story to tell.

And anyone who knows me can tell you
that I really never stopped loving him. 
And it was years of hating instead of hurting
and stabbing each other in the back and in the front.

And if you ask him,
(which I have)
he stopped loving me for a very long time.

Always the more logical one,
he had closed the door and moved on,
placing me comfortably in the category of "Lucas' Mom"
and getting on with his own life.

And so we traveled for years,
each on their own path
but still in the same forest.
Peeking out every so often
to make sure the other was still safe,
even when we weren't meaning to.

And I don't know what happened
but suddenly we were back in front of one another.
Totally different but still the same.

And we circled one another suspiciously for months
and it was still painful
and it was still complicated
and there was still baggage.

And I kept saying, "Come on!"
and he kept saying, "Hold on!",
and there was a lot of "Slow down!"
and "What do you want?!?!"
until one day
there wasn't.

Until one day we must have said,
"The hell with it!"
and got on with giving each other a chance.
Buried old hurts and old selves
and got on with a new history.

This last year has not been perfect
and it has not been painful.
We've stayed out of the highs and the lows
and remained pretty much camped out
in Quiet No Drama Land.

Even in the rough patches and the growth spurts
we've managed to behave like grown-ups most of the time.
I think I only stamped away twice
which I'm pretty sure is a record.

I cannot describe the precious gift it has been
to love someone in a new way.
To burn it all down and rebuild it,
to be with someone whose worst
you've already seen
and bring out the best in one another.

Turns out those two roads led to the same spot.

I didn't know
it could be this sweet.


  1. Beautiful words for a beautiful story. It makes my heart kind of hurt, but in a really good way. I love you and your family xoxoforever!

  2. This was so moving and so inspiring. You give me great hope about this thing called Life. :)