"Remember, we're a team, babe."
I forget that we're a team. I forget that I don't fail alone. I don't succeed alone. WE fail. WE succeed.
Since we have been together I have seen my struggles with Marie as just that. MY struggles. What I'm only beginning to see after all this time is that my struggles are his struggles too. I have never really allowed myself to lean on him. I have leaned on others, of course. For the most part I have scared those people away.
Something has been clicking lately, though. Maybe it's because we moved into a house in the woods with little distractions. Maybe it's having Mr. Sexy home for dinner every night. Maybe it's homeschooling Marie and seeing how the public school system has failed her.
In some ways I lean on Mr. Sexy in a way that is unfair. There are thoughts, feelings and emotions that I have that are hurtful toward Mr. Sexy as her daddy. She and him have a heart connection. They have "the fluffy's" that I don't yet share with Marie. Perhaps I never will which is a very realistic possibility. Yet we all still need to live together, respect each other and care for each other. Even if we don't all have a love connection .
The love connection, for me, took a few weeks into Michael's life for me to find. I had spent my entire pregnancy regretting mistakes and feeling embarrassed. So when baby arrived he didn't feel like mine. At first. But the love connection happened. It grew and grew and grew. With Denai the love connection was immediate. I had a wonderful pregnancy full of excitement and hope so when she was born I was enthralled to hold her in my arms and call her MINE.
Marie is different for obvious reasons. I didn't give birth to her. I didn't grow her in my body. I wasn't there to see her take her first steps or learn her first words. I wasn't there to teach her how to go to the bathroom or how to behave when wearing a skirt. I showed up when those skills were already being taught if not already engrained in her mind. I never had the chance to allow a love connection. I have tried to force it which was never fun. Even if our impromptu dance party appeared fun by smiles and laughter I knew I was forcing my arms to swing back and forth and for the smiles and laughter to come out.
Yesterday was a failure. After watching the video footage from that night I saw that she spent twenty minutes in the den. I couldn't see what she was doing but I could guess after seeing remnants of eaten crayons in Marie's bed. This made me mad. Very mad. I did not respond in a loving manner. I responded based on how I felt. Thus, I failed. We failed.
I do believe that we each should take personal responsibility for our actions and that one day we will all be held accountable. When I make a mistake I should take responsibility and not blame something or someone else.
At the same time, a family is one unit. We are not alone in that unit. We celebrate together, we lift each other up and we work together to grow and be closer. So as we all make mistakes and say mean things to each other, I would say that constitues as a failure. As we enjoy time together playing games, I would constitue that as success. So as a family we should be lifting each other up through the good and the bad. It's not just my job to make good choices. It's Marie's job too. And Michael's. And Mr. Sexy's. And one day very soon Denai will be joined in the mix.
"I'm sorry we failed."
It felt weird to say that yesterday. I knew he wasn't the one who got angry at Marie. He wasn't the one who ate the crayons and tried to hide it. But he is part of this family. And we are a unit.
We fail together. We succeed together.