I like that 10YO still uses the word “handsome” I like that he still says “girls go first.” I remember when he could barely talk. He was a toddler really, this tiny little person that would pour his own juice at preschool snack time and looked so little next to the pitcher he held. “Girls go first!” I hammered that into his head, anytime there was a woman anywhere around, “girls go first.” Like it was yesterday, I remember when he was only three and we were parking at the grocery, next to a car whose owner pulled in right after us. It was an older lady, with white hair in a big blue winter coat. Alex waited until she got out of her car before getting out himself and then said “girls go first!” letting her walk in front of him between the two cars. She looked at him and thanked him, calling him a gentleman , then she looked at me and smiled and said “Good job Mom, not many people raise boys the way we did in my day. What a man you will be!”
He still says that to this day, those exact words "girls go first," and now, 6YO repeats it.
Sometimes, I look at him and think to myself that maybe, just maybe he’s going to be alright. Even after all the mistakes I’ve made, despite all he witnessed when I was too afraid to leave his father, and all the demons he lives with everyday because of it…..
Sometimes I look at them and feel relief- not guilt- that they are children of divorce, because I know the effects of the alternative would have been far worse. Lately, I've noticed that these moments of relief are beginning to outweigh and overshadow my moments of guilt or doubt.
Sometimes I think to myself that maybe- just maybe, good really is stronger than evil.