My son loves the outdoors. I imagine that my child would pitch a tent in the yard and move his crib into it if I let him. The other day when we were on one of our numerous walks in the backyard amongst the trees, I picked him up and started to ballroom dance with him around the yard. Hearing him laugh with joy, I almost forgot the nearly constant pain I feel when I think about the reality of the struggle we have ahead of us with his father. As we continued to dance around, I looked into his big brown eyes and asked, “Are you going to dance with Mama like this on your wedding day?”
I didn’t expect a response from my son as he is still a non-verbal one year old, but the fact that I thought about my sons wedding day got me thinking about deeper issues. Here I was socializing my son and setting him up for lasting relationships before he was even able to talk. This also had me thinking about my own failed dreams. I had always imagined being married BEFORE I had children and now, as I spun my son around, I wondered if he would dance with me someday at MY wedding too (or if I would ever even have a wedding). How would I be able to show my son what a healthy relationship looked like if I was now incapable of having one?
After learning that the man I thought I was going to marry was a completely different person than he portrayed himself to be, and that our relationship was based on a myth, I wondered if I would ever be capable of trusting someone enough to enter into the commitment of marriage. Until Luc, I had never experienced a betrayal like this. I went from being the type of woman who dreamed of her wedding day to a mom who is, frankly, a little terrified of that type of commitment.
It’s moments like these when I truly worry about my baby boy. Will he ever get married? Will the damage his father causes prohibit him from falling in love? Even though I can’t show him a loving relationship with his father, will he still grow up to understand the importance of being married? Will he ever see his mother being treated like his grandpa treats his grandma?
My son’s older brother doesn’t have a mother anymore. She was shot when he was just a toddler. A year ago today, Luc threatened to kill me as me and my son fled his house. Today, I am thankful to be alive to tell the story and I pray that I will be around to dance with my son on his wedding day.