The mother of my children wasn't always the mother of my children. Before that she was my wife, and before that she was my girlfriend. Looking back even further, she was just a girl that I had a thing for in high school.
It's funny how love can go from something as innocent as meeting in a high school play and chatting on AIM, but that is exactly how Erin and I met and got to know each other. We had a chemistry when we first met that is very hard to explain. But it was untapped potential at first because I was dating someone else, and she thought I was gay (seriously that isn't a joke and I've never been able to get her reasoning behind it). Nevertheless we definitely spent a lot of time together during that musical and carried on that relationship online through Instant Messenger (remember that form of communication kids?).
When I was dumped by girlfriend (it was for the best, obviously), I wasted no time pursuing a relationship with Erin. We chatted constantly. When she came home to visit from USD, I made it a point to spend time with her. It was fairly obvious that I liked her, and I definitely wanted her to realize that this was the case. It wasn't long before we were dating and I was meeting her family. It wasn't long before we shared our first kiss. We were on the phone together until late at night. I'd visit her as often as I could, and we'd spend every free moment we could together.
We became the success story when it comes to long-distance relationships. She lived in San Diego and then Spain, and I lived in Sacramento then Colorado. Yet we were able to overcome those times apart because our times together made everything worth it. We made each other laugh. We got along with each others families. I went through the ultimate vetting process with her family friends and developed lasting relationships with them too. We truly enjoyed any time we had together, and we made it a point to spend as much time as we could with each other as possible.
I knew that Erin would be my wife from the day we started dating and seven years later that became true. I loved being married to my best friend that challenged me, loved me and actually laughed and got it when I made inappropriate comments or jokes. There were struggles early on as we adapted to living together for the first time and not being in a long distance relationship for once in our time together. We argued about money and our roles in the house. We adjusted to this new life together, and we realized that our happiness together was 100 times greater than it would ever be on our own.
Now Erin has taken on yet another role in our relationship. She is now the mother of my children. Really it was something that I knew would be the case from very early on, but you never know what it means until it actually happens. She took on the role as mother like an expert (or at least she was comfortable enough to fake it without me noticing). I wouldn't want another woman raising Grace and Ana. They are the luckiest girls in the world to have the mother that they do. She is so caring and full of love, and that was always there even looking back at the different stages of our life together. I should have know that she'd be such a great mom because she was great at everything else.
I'd like to think that Grace and Ana have the mom that they do because of the crush/girlfriend/wife that I knew before they came around. I love the mom that Erin has become just like I loved the wife she became and the girlfriend and crush before that. I appreciate who she is now, but I'll never forget who she was before. Erin has made me realize that mothers are more than just their kids. They are every relationship that has led up to that point and every relationship since. They are a reflection of their parents and family. They are also their friends and community. We often lose track of the many layers that make up a mother, and I'm glad that Erin has finally opened my eyes to all of them.
Happy Mother's Day to Grace and Ana's mom and my loving and beautiful wife. Thank you for being who you are and who you have been at every point in our life together.