Ah, the first weekend in June. Warm weather, the end of school and for us here in my tiny corner of the universe...the Italian Picnic. It's as small town as you can get. A small carnival with a handful of rides, playing bingo for salami, listening to a bad cover band, visiting with a good friend at the Bocce Ball court. It is such an integral part of life in this area that it's never really a question of if you're going to go, but rather, when, and with whom.
I spent the evening at the picnic with the family. Barely organized chaos it was, what with the youngest girl wanting to do everything the midget (who is 7 years older) did, while our middle girls tried to be brave enough to ride the carousel by themselves. The midget was amazingly patient with her youngest girl cousin, as she always is. She went on the "baby rides" with her and took her down the big slide about a dozen times and only whined a little about not being able to go on the big, scary rides because she didn't want to go by herself.
It really made me think about last year, and how far I've come since then. I was tying myself in knots over someone who wasn't worth the time and the effort and trying to be strong enough to parent by myself, giving the exgirlfriend far more credit than she deserved in terms of what she brought to the table. A year ago, I thought the worst had happened, but I've since learned better. What had happened was the best thing that could happen, it was just tied up with so much ugliness that I couldn't see how much better off the midget and I were without a woman who not only wasn't happy, but didn't want to be happy, and didn't want the life we lived. I keep thinking how hard it would have been to make it through the last two months with all that's happened with the midget and having the added burden of trying to tiptoe around the exgirlfriend.
I hate to use a cliche, but things happen for a reason. Every horrible, shitty thing that has happened in my life has made room for something better, made me strong enough to be the midget's mom and to parent on my own. I'm not perfect, far from it, but I'm holding our lives together and the midget's world is full of lots of love and laughter and family, and that's the only indicator of success I need...