I've also learned that no one ever takes the place of a mom in a child's heart. When I remember that, I have compassion for the woman in my seat. As much as they love her, she will never be their mother.
When they pulled away, I cried many tears. I cried tears of grief for a mom, a dad and two kids who were once a family. I cried because when you divorce, your children have a life and family that doesn't include you. I cried because life often turns out so differently than you imagine it will.
My deep sobs reminded me of the way my sons cried when they bumped their heads or skinned their knees. Just as their deep sobs eventually subsided into a relaxed contentment, my crying finally dissolved into a profound feeling of peace.
It would be so easy to be bitter. But, this is our life now. Every decision, every turn and every change, has its sadness. There is nothing to be angry about.
Imagining them driving down the highway, I hoped that their trip would be safe and happy. I hoped that the woman in the front passenger seat would bring my children some joy, and that they would return it. I hoped that my ex would be peaceful and relaxed. I hoped they would sing lots of songs, laugh and kid and remember to always have an empty Coke bottle for those times when gas stations are few and far between.