Yesterday my ego got dented a little because we met two mothers and their children at the Annenberg beach house. One of these mothers removed her beach cover up and the other mother exclaimed gushingly about her gorgeous, youthful, runner's body. Later when I removed my beach cover up there was a very conspicuous silence. Shallow, oh how I know, but still. I went to bed convinced that I am both old and ugly and will never have a clean bathroom.
But when I woke today...the morning was charmed. The boys woke happy and we had a lovely dream-sharing session; I cooked garden omelettes for them which they not only ate, but ate with appreciation; and then, even though we left the house twenty minutes late, we caught a bus immediately and arrived at our destination on time. The bus was not crowded. We got our own seats. The boys did not whine or kick the other passengers; instead, we entertained each other with homespun stories about dragons and unicorns and brave fish-children. Both children hugged and kissed me and told me they loved me as they stepped off the bus to meet their father (okay, so I got my head stuck in the door. It was a little bit embarrassing. But the driver opened the door again, my children love me, still a red-letter day.)
High on the love of my children, and higher still from being free of them for four hours, I wandered through the Santa monica farmer's market. A gorgeous organic farmer met my eyes. "Hello, beautiful," he said, and handed me a free peach, winking. One of those Segue-straddling city ambassadors hailed me to ask if I needed anything. "You are such a beautiful woman," he said. "That smile! You remind me of Diane Lane." (Yes, I admit that the minute I got home I googled Diane Lane to see if this was a compliment. It was.)
I giggled to myself. What was going on? The more I laughed, the happier I felt, the more ridiculously responsive the world was. I stopped into Wells Fargo to use the ATm. Actually, I had no money to withdraw, I just knew that on Fridays Wells Fargo hands out free water and coffee and I wanted some. One of the banking representatives walked up to me. Uh oh, I thought. They're on to me. No, no, not on this charmed morning. He'd simply seen my yoga mat and wanted to ask me where I do yoga. He chatted with me longer than strictly necessary and as I was leaving I heard his coworker ask him excitedly "did you get her number?"
WHAT WAS GOING ON?!? Please understand, this NEVER happens to me. I mean, I made it through my twenties without being picked up ONCE. (I never even went on a date until I turned thirty one. And even then, I had to pick up the tab.) I had twenty minutes before yoga class. I was, apparently, gorgeous. I decided to buy myself a cup of tea to celebrate and write in the sunshine. The moment I sat down the phone rang.
It was my lawyer. I developed an instant Pavlovian stomachache. He's a lovely man, but almost always the bearer of bad news.
"Are you sitting down?" he asked.
Now I understood. I was about to be knocked flat yet again by the unenlightened @#$%@#s at the Santa monica Family Court. The Universe felt slightly bad about this and was throwing me the bone of one charmed morning in recompense.
"I got the evaluator's report this morning," my lawyer said. "He's going to recommend that you be allowed to move away and also be granted sole custody. He could see indications of emotional abuse in the father's behavior and recommended that he not be allowed to even visit the children for longer than two weeks at a time. It's a slam dunk. Congratulations."
I levitated a little bit. I really did. The guy sitting next to me put down his newspaper to gawk at the spectacle of my butt hovering over my chair. Oh wait, maybe it was that charmed morning thing again, just making my butt irresistible on top of everything else.
The whole world opened up to me in brilliant color. I loved everyone I saw. And it dawned on me...everyone wants to be seen and loved. All morning I'd been shooting love out at people, sharing my joy, and they'd been responding. There is always a response.
In this long, agonizing, painful fight for my children, I've lost faith at times, because it took so very long to come. But in the end, there was a response. I just loved my children and held on as hard as I could to what I wanted and now...there has been a response.
Hallelujah. I am so very very grateful. We are North Carolina bound in two weeks. And...an incredible drizzling of icing...THERE IS A HYBRID CAR WAITING FOR mE THERE.