Someday I’m gonna be brave.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my children attend a school whose main philosophy goes a little something like this..

“All the sports! All the time! Win! Win! Win!”

We spend a lot of time sitting in the bleachers attending games. It’s been a great opportunity to people watch. One family I have particularly enjoyed watching is made up of one mom, two ex-husbands/dads, a boyfriend, and grandparents. I love watching this family because there is friendship and welcoming expressions, no matter who is there. The ex-husbands are just as friendly with their ex-wife as they are with her new boyfriend and her parents. It’s so refreshing to watch. This is the love of Jesus playing out in real life.

And then there is our family. G’s family act like we don’t exist. G’s ex-wife won’t even glance in my direction. His parents and brother and sister-in-law and his ex-wife all sit together on the other end of the bleachers and ignore our existence. It’s the most ridiculous, hurtful, stupid, comical, and ungodly thing ever.

I’ve wrestled repeatedly with this. I had all these wide eyed and innocent aspirations when I first married G. I thought that his ex and I would be friends, or at least talk to one another. This is what I’ve always wanted. Not only for the two of us, but especially for our boys that we share.

I’ve told myself I need to just be brave, walk up, and say hello. But I haven’t done it yet. His ex is always surrounded by other people. Of if she isn’t, she will turn and walk away when I get close. Or she looks in the other direction or she ignores me and stares at her phone. His parents will just show up occasionally and sit as far away from us as they can.

I’m not sure why this bugs me so much. Maybe because it’s stupid and immature. Maybe because all the other parents are watching and they see this play out week after week. Maybe because I want to take my step-sons out of this awkward spot of being put in the middle. Maybe because I’m human and I don’t like being treated like an untouchable. Maybe because I feel like I’m stripped of my dignity by being treated this way week after week.

The whole thing makes me crazy

So why haven’t I pulled up my big girl panties and just gone over and said hello to my in laws who have yet to acknowledge my existence. Why haven’t I sucked it up and gone up to his ex-wife and just said “hi.”

Because I’m a big, fat chicken.

As much as this whole ridiculous charade makes me feel dishonored as a person, and angry at this unfair treatment, I am still afraid.

I’m intimidated by his ex-wife. And I’m skittish of his parents. Who wouldn’t be after being told in no uncertain terms that as far as his ex is concerned, I don’t count as an important person in the life of the boys. That I am expendable and a nusaince and that she wishes I wasn’t there. Who wouldn’t be after such complete and total rejection from his parents. People who used to be kind to me, until I disrupted their perfect world by marrying their son.

But I’m gonna do it. For the sake of my kids, but especially for me. I just have to work up the courage to do it.

One of these days I’ll be brave.


Sharon McCutcheon

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