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Over the past two and a half days, I wrote a post, a very long post. I’ve deleted, and saved it somewhere else: intentionally. I’ve been meaning to write a post on co-parenting for a while now, but I’ve been weary and hesitant because I know: as good as it’s been going, it could change and crumble almost instantly. 
What I’ve learned this week is that: this relationship has been seemingly working, but only because I’ve stopped asking for things from him. The moment I ask, is the moment I realize that he will not give. It’s the moment I get, not only let down, but incredibly hurt to give so much to receive close to nothing in return, from someone who will always be a part of my life. If I don’t ask for anything, things continue to work and appear better. Our relationship will only seem better, but never actually be better, unless he can change too. Until then, it’s up to me to keep this separate child raising relationship floating, by never asking and always giving… and unfortunately, thats the best it’s going to get. I’ve stopped depending on Alex for anything, it’s the only thing that helps me keep my sanity (and keeps me happy) when dealing with him. Yes, as much as I would like our relationship to BE better and not just SEEM better, that’s not up to me, I am only one person in this two person relationship, and I’m doing everything I can. 
I do a lot for him. At times (okay, most of the time), probably more than I should. It’s just who I am. He and I, are different in this way. Who we are will always depend not only on our nurture, but our nature too. Alex and I are both emotional and we are both closed off. We avoid, we blow up, and until now, we both lived in fear of our own emotions. I don’t live in fear of my emotions anymore. I embrace them, and have grown to work with them and find happiness within them. I will be incredibly surprised if Marlowe does not come out to be a stubborn (determined), emotional, woman filled with too much love to give. I want her always to know: it’s okay. We are who we are. Love will happen. Let downs will happen. The hardest moments, she never, EVER thought she could face and go through will happen, and she will get through it. And I will be here. Just like I don’t need Alex (or anyone) to take care of me, she won’t need it either. She can run with her emotions and her love and she can and will do everything she expects of herself, and more. 
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I’ve read this book to Marlowe many, many times in the past three days. And I’ve read it even more times to myself. On friday night I learned again: do not ask Alex for anything, it’s only me here that I can depend on. No matter how much I give to him, there is no guarantee, he will be here to help me out when I need him the most. As I sobbed, and in between phone calls, pleading with him to come by and watch Marlowe: I read the book, over and over. The book was wet and soggy when it arrived to my door, many months ago. It seems fitting. Even though I wanted the book, it sat on my desk forever and I never bothered to read it, I already knew all the words from watching the video so many times. But this week, I needed it. I needed those twenty pages or so, how many ever number of words, and the strong meanings (to me) to remind me what raising a daughter is– and not just a daughter, but my daughter… who will one day own many of the same flaws and traits that (her father and) I possess. She’ll struggle with herself, she’ll make mistakes, and one day: she’ll figure it all out too, hopefully at a much younger age than I did. Whoever she is and becomes, whether it be: strong, emotional, filled with too much love… or something completely different… I want her to know: it’s okay to be that woman, and not only okay, but it’s amazing. She will always be loved for it.
This isn’t a sponsored post, by any means, but I really do recommend Sarah Kay’s book: B to any mother (particularly mother’s of daughters)  or to any young woman, needing a bit of encouragement in this sometimes slightly disappointing world. 
You can check out more of Sarah’s work: here. It’s a little bit crazy when you read or hear “B” and find out she’s only twenty four years old, and not yet a mother. Very inspirational, if you ask me. 
To see her live performance of “B” on TedTalks: go here. She speaks about spoken poetry demanding to be heard out loud. I couldn’t agree more. Hearing her perform the poem, or even sitting in my bed, reading the book out loud, to no one but me and my kid, makes it just that much more powerful. I suggest you try it. I almost debated recording myself reading it, as I do love love love spoken poetry, but I wouldn’t do it justice. 

18 Comments

  1. i just want you to know that i immediately bought this book after seeing pieces of it here. i've never done something like that. i now own it and i cant read it without crying. every. single. time. i think other than reading this book i cry maybe once a year. its very, very dear to me. thank you for sharing.

  2. I'm watching the video now, and I cannot stop weeping. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this. So incredibly touching.

    You're an amazing person (albeit I know of you through your blog), and I have no doubt that Marlowe will be just as amazing and wonderful. She is blessed to have you for a momma.

  3. Hi Drea..Juliandkoko here…this post reminded me of my first love, and for christmas his mother gave me a book entitled, "women who love too much"…i'm know she was trying to tell me something but in hindsight almost 12 years later i don't take offense to it, in fact i'm glad that i love too much and that it is who i am and no matter how many heartbreaks i'v gone through i still give all of myself and still keep on trying and fighting and giving as much as i can in every situation….i just adore you drea and thank you for your strengthening emails and blog posts that keep me going through this single mama hood that i'v found myself in…big squeezes and kisses from across the country to you and marlowe.
    xoxo
    juliandkoko

  4. You are doing an amazing job. You are an incredible mother and will raise Marlowe to be the same: strong, brave, incredible.

  5. The things you share help give me strength and remind me that I am not the only momma struggeling to co-parent in the best and most effective way possible to raise our little sweet one.

    Thank you for continuing to share your story and I hope you continue to do so.

  6. Amazing. Keep at it. You are raising your daughter to be a wonderful woman and human being. What you teach her at this age will shape her for her future; the way you treat people, the way you react to however you are treated, all of it will mold her. I have never heard of this book, I'm so behind in the literary world since college part one and part two are over, but I must find it and read it to my daughter. We're huge poetry girls!

  7. Thank you so much for sharing this. I just listened to her TED talk and was moved to tears. Very poignant stuff! These are important things for daughters and mamas too!

  8. What a heartfelt post. I know what it's like to give and give, like you mentioned, and receive nothing in return. It is such a painful place to realize you're in, especially when you need or want something in return. Or more importantly, your child needs or wants something from someone that the someone is not willing to compromise or sacrifice. From what I read on your blog, you seem like a really phenomenal woman and momma. I deeply appreciate that you always write from a place of honesty and passion…even when the topic isn't a pretty or happy one. I haven't heard of the book, but I definitely want to check it out now, so thank you for the recommendation. Also, I could not agree with you more that poetry should be read aloud. I heard the most powerful poetry I've heard aloud from a friend of mine back in college. There are few things like it and I can't imagine I would appreciate it as well had I simply read it from the paper.

  9. How I love Sarah Kay! She used to perform at the Bowery Poetry Club down the street from our apartment. This book was the first gift I ever gave Biet, for her first Christmas. So glad Sarah is getting such wide recognition!

  10. I've been reading your blog for a while now, coming here to see another single mama who is making the best of a bad situation. I could ramble (rant) at length about co-parenting and baby daddies and all the shit they put us through, but at the end of the day it doesn't really matter. Marlowe can fall asleep every single night knowing that she is loved, so loved, and she'll grow up to be an amazing woman because she has an amazing example to follow.

  11. I just finished reviewing this book on my blog! If you youtube her spoken word version, it's awesome!

  12. You are a strong and amazing woman, Drea. You are more incredible then you even know. I feel blessed to have known you, if only through your blog because you are so supportive of your daughter, strong and independent. Know that there are tons of people rooting for you and love you and Marlowe so much.
    Blessings,
    Sara
    http://ohhoneydontworry.blogspot.com/

  13. Beautifully written post – I am definitely going to check out that book. It looks amazing. You have so much love for your daughter – she will always know that you are there for her. I have a feeling she is going to become such a wonderful (and extremely strong) woman. xo.

  14. Wow. That book. Just wow.

    Beautiful post, Drea. I am having one of "those Mondays" so I don't think I can offer you more words than that today. xo

  15. Marlowe will be an amazing lady because of YOU! She will learn how to deal with life just as you have taught here and in spite of any other pieces that might cross her path. *hug* from afar!