Last night, I went to the end-of-year PTA banquet for board members and committee members, which was held in a private room in a local sports bar/restaurant. I’d never been there before, and like many journeys with the PTA over my two years of involvement, I came away learning more than I expected.
I learned, for example, that one of the other Moms is divorced and remarried. And that her lucrative family vacations I’ve always been jealous of are funded out of her husband’s extremely good work in his FT job working with the disabled, and on the weekends, he is also an occupational therapist, often working every weekend if that’s when he’s needed. They are good people, and I was invited over, kid or no kid, to sit in the hot tub and drink margaritas at some point this summer.
I learned another of our group is having a lot of troubles with her pending marriage to her 2nd husband, because of the ex’s first wife, and their shared child and how to deal with attendance at the wedding, which the child is participating in.
People have a lot of problems that you don’t see on the outside, I was reminded. And it’s your community that you can draw your support from, when you might not be getting it at home. I don’t get it at home not just because I’m no longer married, but, as with most exes, we have our troubles as well related to our small child, and it’s always a journey and a struggle to try to stay positive and make the best choices for the child, even when you’re dealing with someone who hates you and isn’t always nice to you. I don’t have support at home because, ultimately, there is nobody there but me, and in the end, I’m all I have to rely upon. But there are also others, and I was reminded of that both last night and this morning.
I have a great group of friends who are never afraid to give me a straight answer, to tell me another way to think about things, to challenge me if it’s needed. They’re also the first to support me when I need it, to hold me up, reassure me, send me love, to come over or invite me to their place to hang out, drink, bitch, eat snacks, whatever, as we all need it. This is my community and this is my support. They love me. They accept me and don’t judge me. They encourage me and tell me I’m doing great, and to keep going. They understand when I need to complain and rail against how life is unfair right along beside me, just as I would do for them.
Sometimes, it’s really great to be reminded that I am not completely alone, that everyone is struggling, and we’re all just trying to get through the day together.
I have a pretty good tribe.