30 day writing challenge, Day 1: The single life

Of COURSE, the first day is the one I’m probably least comfortable going into; but in the spirit of challenging those comfort zones, I’m forging ahead. Despite all I DO share, I’m a pretty private person. I’m shy about things like this, because I really believe that relationships are personal. That is something that has not and will not change; not with Kenny, not with anyone else in the future. For the record, though, I’m currently single, by my own choosing. I’m not on any dating sites, I’m not at bars “looking,” it’s just me and and my mini crew, doing our thing on the day-to-day. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it, dabbled, etc. It’s just that my particular life is, for lack of a better word, complicated.

I’ll let ya’ll in on a big old secret; being a widowed single Mom at 37 isn’t the exciting dating draw that one might think it’d be. SHOCKING! I know!  All joking aside, the hard part about being a widow in the dating world isn’t that I’m a widow, it’s the preconceived notions people have about me because I’m a widow.  That I’m broken. That I’m looking to replace my husband. That I’m looking for a “baby daddy” to step in and raise my kids. 

The truth? Well, the truth lies somewhere in the middle of all of that. 

I will always, always be sad Kenny died. While I live my life, and live it well and happily to the best of my ability, there will never be a day that I will think, “well, gee, his death is really okay.” Be reasonable, ya’ll. If your parent/brother/sister/best friend died, how would you feel if the world told you that you couldn’t be sad about it, and live your life in forward motion? It’s bullshit, right?? Same here, ya’ll, same here. I will always love him. I will always honor his memory. I am raising our three kids, who deserve to know they had a really great human as a father, and that their mother loves their father. It’s a non-negotiable piece of my puzzle.

BUT, I’m not looking to replace him. There was one Kenny, there won’t be another. I’m also, honestly, downright offended by the insinuation that I am so “basic,” that I can’t love a totally different person, for being whoever they are. I am not so one-dimensional that I can only see the good in one person. As for the thought that I couldn’t love again? I mean, I haven’t…yet. I want to. While I have no expectation, nor any desire, to recreate what I had (because it’s not possible), I know the joys of a great relationship, and I would love to get another chance at having a new version, whatever that looks like. 

When it comes to the kids, that’s a more perplexing scenario. I’m of the firm mindset that my kids are my kids. I don’t want a “stand-in,” I’m not looking for someone to parent my kids. I may be wrong, but I have it in my head that if anyone were to ever come along and join us, it’d be a gradual process of assimilating themselves into our lives. My kids are fantastic little humans, I know, I’m biased, but ask around, it’s true. They would LOVE the addition of a “dude” around (yes, they’ve told me this, in fact my big kids just brought it up again this morning…), but it’s my job to make sure anyone who spends time with us is the right kind of dude. The kind that adds value, encouragement, laughs, fun. It may not be the same for all widows, I speak for myself, but for me, just someone who cares enough to cheer them on at soccer games, ride bikes, and be silly is a great start. 

And as for “choosing” to be single this minute, well, there’s a lot of reasons. Obviously, when I became “single” (can we just discuss how much I hate that word??), it was not even a little my choice. I didn’t choose to be unmarried, I didn’t choose to raise my kids alone, I didn’t choose any of it. Two years later, though, this is my choice. It’s my choice to focus on me, and me alone (and all that encompasses, including my kids, my career, my life), and right now, that’s exactly what I’m doing. There are a lot of changes on the horizon for my little crew, and I’m working my hardest to give us our best shot at a great future. For today, that doesn’t include a new addition. 

Of course, a lot of this is simplifying things. To go into detail would take a lot longer, and honestly? It’s between me and…whoever. Whenever. If ever, because, like I said, it’s personal… ;)