You probably recall that Aaron and I have separated. In fact, right around now is our official moment of divorce! It's okay. We are both better because of it.
That's pretty personal, I know. But my point in telling you that is that the decision Aaron and I made between us has had a big impact on our families as the ripples cascaded down.
It is not necessary for me to go into the details of those ripples because, like any divorce involving children, the children are the priority. No matter what.
In this case, Brady P. is that child.
Brady P's life started off hectic enough with all the traveling that was necessary for his health and family visits. I carted that little boy all over Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Sometimes with grandparents. Sometimes with Aaron. Mostly by myself.
So Braeden is used to the travel and seeing people here and there. But what he wasn't used to was seeing both sides of the family without his mama.
In the last few months, I have dropped him off with the Rogers' side and gone back home or did my own thing for "Aaron's time" with Brady P. So, in a situation where I would usually stay for the duration with the in-laws, I started to leave. That's just how it goes. That's part of it.
But Grammy Rogers, Windy as I call her, is one of my bestest friends ever. Can you imagine the emotions we each went through as I divorced her son? It was a lot. A lot a lot.
And now, here we are, each our new, evolved selves, and our friendship continues to grow. Our laughter still carries over the lake as we sit side by side throwing rocks with Brady P. Our hearts still purge our deepest feelings and insights to each other. And our uninhibited mouths still tell each other what the other could stand to fix about herself. Ha. That's a real friend right there.
The other day, Windy noticed that Brady P. doesn't like that her and I live in different houses and only spend friendship time together. She said, "He thinks we should be together." Because we have all lived together on and off since he was born.
Maybe that's just the way it is supposed to be to him.
Interesting enough. He certainly lets his thoughts known as he begs Grammy Windy to stay when she tries to leave our house.
While we were still married, Aaron's parents and my parents became good friends. They liked to drink their homemade wine together, discuss Brady P. and give each other gardening tips. I enjoyed that they all got along.
Okay. So here comes my point of this post. I appreciate you wading through a borderline diary entry to get this far. You are a trooper.
Last week, my whole immediate family came to visit. My mom and dad, my brother and his wife, my sister and her son and even my brother's wife's parents! I was elated that they all traveled such a distance to meet in my neck of the woods.
Well, at the same time, Aaron's parents were here, so at one point, we were all together -- some of them meeting for the first time because they live so far away. I thought it was cool.
And so did Braeden.
In fact, the morning my family planned to leave, Grammy and Grampy Rogers, Brady P., Grammy Wais and Auntie Alex were all on the front porch with me. Music was playing (as usual) from inside, and Braeden wanted to dance.
He has this new dance where he likes to hold hands with two other people, join in a circle and walk around while he does this crazy galloping jumping move. (It could almost be a river dance, he is so bouncy!)
That morning he took the hand of Grammy Rogers and Auntie Alex, my brother's wife. They all joined hands and danced in a circle.
That's so cool, I thought. They just met each other, yet they are part of my family, and Brady P. got them to join hands and dance in a circle.
After they were spent, he reached out and took Grampy Rogers' and Grammy Wais' hand, and they all danced in a circle. There he was again, joining people who may have never seen each other again because of the decision Aaron and I made last fall.
But Brady P. will never let that happen. He knows there is more on this earth to keep us bonded in ways we may not understand. And he proved it in that little unity dance, where no one hesitated to take another person's hand because he was the glue that keeps us together.
We should be so lucky.
And as a bonus, here is a picture Auntie Alex took of our little man at the nose of Brockway Mountain. I don't know why he didn't have shoes on, but he still makes that jacket look way cool.