The Monkeys have been fortunate in their lives to have very unusual family dynamics. While being raised by a lesbian couple is certainly out of the norm for most children, it's not even close to the full story.
For most of Monkey Do's life, the Monkeys were raised by three mommies and one daddy (or, as she put it, "one and a half daddies").
Within about a year of when we split, their dad got himself a girlfriend. Things were kind of rocky, at first, but eventually I figured out that she wasn't like that Other Bitch. She took the kids seriously, understood that she was the grown up, and didn't spend all her time trying to be their friend. She disciplined when necessary and took care of them.
Over time, the four of us became a team. Back to School night and Open House involved a four-pack of parents. Emergency contact cards were oodles of fun to fill out, and always involved tons of complaining about the assumptions they made about a child's family structure. When there were problems, we had family meetings. We kept each other on the same page and we backed each other up. We even took family vacation together each summer.
Monkey See picked drama as his elective. While he didn't say so directly, I suspect it was because of her.
The kids were the envy of all their classmates who only had one mommy. We were the envy of every parent from a split-parent household. How often does split parenting work so well or run so smoothly? How often does everyone get along?
We did have problems with things based on the assumptions of others about family structure.
Last Mother's Day, in particular, Monkey Do was in tears because in class they could only make one card and one present. How does one Monkey divvy out one card and one present between three mommies?
Sadly, we don't have that problem this Mother's Day.
After last school year ended, so did their relationship.
I remember going home that night, the night they told the kids, and knowing that, in someone else's house, our family was being torn apart.
And there was nothing we could do.
And as hard as it was to see her go, we knew that she was doing what was right for her. It wasn't working out. It wasn't working out, and he's a giant dumbass so it wasn't going to work itself out from that point.
So she did what any rational person would do.
She salvaged what she could of herself and moved on.
Part of moving on meant dropping out of our lives. As much as that hurt, as much as we missed her, we understood.
How hard is it to end a relationship after all that time and energy and life invested into it? How much harder when you're also leaving behind two little Monkeys that you've helped raise?
I cannot even begin to imagine.
SweetPea has always said that, if we'd had our druthers, we'd have kept her, and ditched him.
We've definitely missed her in this past year. But we hope that she's doing well. We hope that her life brings her all the joy and success and love that any one person can pack into a life.
She deserves it.
Happy Mother's Day, hon. I know you're not technically a "mom" anymore... But the mom you were more than makes up for that.
Happy Mother's Day to the rest of y'all. I hope y'all have a beautiful day, and that it is packed to the hilt with love, laughs, and snuggles.