Hey Kimberley -
Was wondering if you'd be available to shoot us (the girls, Andrea and me) the weekend we come into Memphis? I know you're schedule is nuts, so if you can't I completely understand.Thanks!Randy
Of course I had to say it, "With a gun or a camera?"
"Randy," for those of you who do not know, is my EX-husband (married 14 years.) We have been divorced since January of 2006. One month and twelve days before I met the amazing Dancin' Jimmy. (Still smile and get all happy when I think about meeting Charlie.)
Hmmmmm......what to do? My first thought is, "Ugh. THAT won't be awkward AT ALL!" Then, I'm all, "So, I have to hang out with my ex-husband and his wife while they are here?" Then, I talk to Charlie and ask him if I should beg-out or not. He encouraged me to do it...for the girls. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like we hate each other, or that I don't like the new Mrs. Randy, it's just something that you don't exactly get pumped about.
The thing is, and I know I'm like a freak of nature, but I actually enjoy and am heartened by the fact that my children have a good family with both parents. It was weird the first time Bradyn told someone that she had "two moms." You can imagine, that is not something you really ever get used to - having pushed that sweet girl out of my body. Is it fair that the new Mrs. Randy would get the same title? She barely ever gets to spend time with them. She doesn't have to get her to doctor's appointments, or take care of her when she is sick, or pick her up from an endless string of sleep-overs with her girlfriends.
But, I get a feeling by watching them all together, that Mrs. Randy II does indeed love our Sweet Little Brady Lady. And, you know what? I'm okay with that. Even, I'm really happy about that. I guess that is what true love is. When you want what's best for someone despite your own feelings. The fact that Morgan and Bradyn have a whole boat-load of Italians in Philadelphia that love my children, is okay by me. More people in this world to help me love those wonderful girls - who deserve every bit of it!
So, off I went, with my little camera bag. It was a little strange at first being the outsider, the odd one out in a family picture that included my girls, but not me. But, we made it work. At one point, I asked Randy and Mrs. Randy II if they wanted a pic of just them two. I'm all, "Put your arm around her...act like you love each other." You know, what I tell all my clients. Then, I realized how weird that was. I stopped, put my camera down, and said, "So, do I like win best ex-wife of the year, or WHAT?!?!?!" They both laughed and she said that definitely I do. I jumped up ready to head to the next spot and said, "You can totally have him!" Lots of laughing and everything was fine.
When I was about 11 (I think), my best friend's parents divorced. It was devastating. They seemed like the absolute perfect family in every way. All I could think about at the time was, If THEY could get a divorce, MY parents certainly were vulnerable. I cried and cried and cried. Several years later, as adults, we attended a party for the mother's birthday. I was so shocked and weirded-out by my friend's father being there with his new wife. The mother's new husband also there. They were all carrying on like they were one big happy family. Although weird to ME, later - as I was dealing with MY divorce - I realized what was going on.
See, even though this couple couldn't make it work together, they had one crucial thing in common...they loved their children enormously. I was keenly aware when Randy and I were splitting - that my actions didn't hurt Randy as much as they would hurt my kids. And, it would definitely make them come down on HIS side if I showed my tail. I just love them too much to disparage their DNA-donor in any way. They are a part of him.
There you go. I took my ex-husband's family pics today. And, I hope they turn out okay. I hope my kids know how much I love them. How I want so badly for them to be happy in every way and will do EVERYTHING to make sure they are.