When Amanda came back into my life

(2/2) “When Amanda came back into my life, I tried not to let myself get too excited. Because I knew things were different now. Being in a relationship is hard enough. But being parents is a whole new level of stress—especially for a new couple. Scout was going through a lot of emotions when her mother left, so it was a lot of work. There were some late nights. And she developed attachment issues, so dropping her off at school was heartbreaking. We had lots of doctor’s appointments and therapy appointments. On top of everything else we were paying a mortgage, and trying to send Scout to the best preschool we could afford. Then the pandemic hit and I lost my job. I was afraid it would all be too much. I just kept hoping that the strength of our friendship would carry us through, and the stress of raising Scout wouldn’t divide us. But the opposite happened. It was our love of Scout that brought us together. She’s our glue. Her and Amanda are best friends. To be honest—it’s a very ‘girls vs boys’ situation in our house. They have all kinds of secrets, including a twenty-minute bedtime routine that I have nothing to do with. They sing a Spanish song. And then they do this ‘dream transfer’ thing where they press their foreheads together. Sometimes I feel like they both love each other more than me. And I wouldn’t even say it’s bittersweet. It’s just sweet—for my daughter to have found this person who makes her feel so safe, and so complete. I’ve always known I wanted to marry Amanda. I never had the money for a ring, but we talked about it openly from the very beginning. Her only condition was this: ‘Scout has to be there when you propose.’ Two weeks ago I finally did it. I’d saved up enough for a ring, and I arranged for us to go on a picnic. That morning we dropped Scout off at my parents’ house—just to throw Amanda off the scent. All our friends and family gathered at the park. I even hired some photographers to capture the moment. But it wasn’t quite the surprise that I’d hoped for. Because as soon as she saw us coming, Scout came running over with flowers in her hand. She handed them to Amanda, gave her a big hug, and said: ‘Today’s the day, Mom!’”

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