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Little Miss Momma: A Bit of My Story

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Bit of My Story

The best blogging advice I ever received:
Only tell your story.
It's not my place to tell someone else's story for them,
to pretend I understand their choices,
their reasoning,
or their path in life.
The only story I know for sure
is my own.

Which is why I am sometimes conflicted on how to respond
to your emails and comments asking about my parents...
More specifically,
my single mom
and my dad.

And then I read Ree Drummond's book,
Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,
where she talked about her parent's divorce
as it related to her
without all the intimate details of their relationship.
And I thought to myself,
that is the story I want to tell.

High school sweet hearts,
married young,
divorced soon
with one healthy baby girl
to show for their short time together.
That is where our story begins.

I have no doubts that they were in love,
and I have no doubts that I brought them both great joy.
But eventually, real life and hardships dissolved their young love
and ultimately their marriage.

I was one year old when they divorced.

Growing up I never questioned why they weren't still together,
I just questioned why he was never around.

A handful of visits a year,
and a few special occasions
I would see him.

We always had fun,
we always giggled,
ate good food,
watched basketball,
talked about the Dodgers,
and played horse in the driveway.

But then he left,
and I was back to not having a Dad.

I remember practicing throwing the perfect spiral
and swishing my three point shot
just so I could impress him the next time we were together.
Maybe then he would visit more.

I invited him to my soccer games,
my awards banquets,
my back to school nights
and all those things parents go to
to support their kids.

But my Aunt was always sitting in his place.
Then one day when I was 15, he showed up.

It was my club soccer game.
I had been playing for 6 years,
and this was one of the first games he had made it to.
I scored three goals,which is kinda a big deal.

I'll never forget how proud he was.
The look on his face,
the enthusiasm and power behind his high five,
and the way he introduced himself to the other parents as
my Dad.

I had over 50 more soccer games in my high school career,
and after that day, my Dad never missed a single one.

If it wasn't about sports,
my Dad was generally a man of few words.
But over the next few years he began to open up.
We started having weekly dinners,
went on afternoon runs,
and shared talks about life and the past.

It might have been too late for the typical father/daughter relationship
so we worked on creating a friendship.

Sure, there were days when I was hurt.
But I was never angry with him,
never lashed out,
never expected more than I knew he was capable of giving.
I just hoped that one day he could give me more.

Instead, I developed this image in my mind
of the type of father my kids would have.
The type of Father who always showed up.
The type of Father who would fight for his kids,
who's heart would ache if he had to be away from them for even one day,
who tucked them in with bedtime stories and butterfly kisses every night.

And then I took that image,
I found that guy,
and I married him.

Today my Dad is one of my best friends.
He shows up for everything important to Baby W.
He takes him to the park,
helps him down the slide,
teaches him to throw a ball
and smothers him with kisses.

Today, he is the Grandpa who shows up,
the Grandpa who get's choked up when Baby W skins his knee,
the Grandpa who loves,
the Grandpa who gives butterfly kisses,
the Grandpa Baby W can count on.
And that's just the type of Father I need right now.

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At May 28, 2011 at 9:10 AM , Blogger Marianne said...

Beautiful is all that comes to my mind...

At May 28, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Blogger mommymandi said...

Isn't it amazing how people grow and change throughout our lives? My dad seemed a lot like yours. Just a couple years ago he apologized to my brothers and I for not being as great of a father as he knew he could be. Today, he is an awesome grandfather to my daughter and nephew. And he supports his children on every way he can. Thanks for sharing your story!

At May 28, 2011 at 9:13 AM , Blogger Amber said...

This was very sweet, I value your honesty. Sometimes we don't understand the decisions our parents make, but I think it is wonderful you both have a good relationship.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous Karri said...

beautifully, beautifully wrote.

and i cannot believe how much baby w looks EXACTLY like you in that photo! wow!

At May 28, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Blogger Britli said...

I'm glad you shared that story. I am glad your relationship has became so great.


At May 28, 2011 at 9:16 AM , Blogger zoo keeper said...

beautifuly written.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Robin said...

Wow, that made me emotional. I'm so glad you and your Dad have a good relationship now!

At May 28, 2011 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Aubrey said...

Beautifully written Miss Ashley. I can't say all I think about this topic. Except that I too have an extra special joy in watching my daughters with their daddy. And I can only imagine. For my life at this point still, it just wasn't in the cards for my father and I. It makes me feel sad. But- I am lucky that my mom married a wonderful guy who is a perfect papa to my kids. Maybe someday that other man will wake up and smell the coffee, cause I brew it strong.
Thanks again, you rock.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Renae said...

stated so simply and beautifully!
My relationship with my father is/was very simarlier to yours.
Thank you for sharing your story and always being so real.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:29 AM , Blogger Ashley said...

this is why I think you are amazing...

At May 28, 2011 at 9:34 AM , Blogger Isabel said...

That gave me goosebumps!! Baby W has a great Grandpa and that is all that should matter! So glad he is in your life now. My father and I didnt have a great relationship while I was growing up either but Im greatful for him being in our life now..even if it is every once in a while.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:36 AM , Blogger Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs said...

Its interesting how much parents change once they become grandparents isnt it? A similar example is my father in law. Ive heard countless stories from the hubs about the kind of "father" he was. The drunk kind, the abusive kind, the hard working kind, the kind that wasnt there... the stories are heart breaking and I know the hubs had it hard as a kid. SO when his dad came back around.. you could imagine my reluctance to have him be around my children. But NOW i get choked up watching him with his grand kids. He is good with them, they have a special bond.. and he spoils them.. which was something he never did for the hubs or his brothers and sister (that was wasting his precious money)! Its really sweet to see the change. And I always thought that maybe becoming grandparents is kind of like being given a second chance for them... A chance for a new start and to do it right or better. A chance to make up for the past. :)
Thanks for sharing this story. Im glad to hear your dad has such a good relationship with you and Baby W! :) Thats awesome!
I also agree with you on the kind of father you wanted for your own kids... Ive told my hubby that several times. Ive told him my struggles with my parents and dad.. and how much I needed a daddy in my life. And how much it means to me that he is the kind of dad to our kids that Ive always wanted. Its a pretty important thing. :)

At May 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM , Blogger Jenny said...

This was beautiful, Ashley. You really have a way with words.

At May 28, 2011 at 9:41 AM , Blogger lauren@warmandfuzzy said...

you are such a great writer! Great way to put it all into words!

At May 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Blogger PeaceLoveApplesauce said...


man oh man, you're baby boy + you as an infant, identical!!

At May 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

I love that your relationship evolved to be something so special.

At May 28, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Blogger Graceful Moments said...

May God bless you and your family! I am so glad that your dad is such a loving grandfather and that you have such a wonderful relationship with him now. All of that is possible because you made the decision to not let anger and bitterness rob you of a relationship with your dad, however small it was in the beginning! You are one smart girl!

At May 28, 2011 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Heather said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for telling some of your story. You are such a good writer.

At May 28, 2011 at 10:16 AM , Blogger Comeca Jones said...

Thank you for giving us a lil piece of yourself.

At May 28, 2011 at 10:50 AM , Blogger Kristine said...

Thank you for sharing more of yourself! You are simply amazing! XOXO

At May 28, 2011 at 10:54 AM , Blogger Dan, Lauren, and Sadie said...

ashley! this post made me cry! you are such a good writer. and i would love to meet your dad some day, im sure he is a wonderful person. but this just made me so grateful for the amazing dads that our kids have! you seriously could not ask for a better dad than ben. and i dont know what i would do without all the help i get from dan. anyway, love you, hope we get to see you this summer:)

At May 28, 2011 at 11:16 AM , Blogger Laura said...

HI! First time commenter here :)


I love how you express your thoughts and feelings. This particular post really touches my heart. My parents got divorced 5 years ago. I had just had my second child. Ever since then my dad has been absent from our lives. All I want is for my kids to have a grandpa like your dad. I hate that they are missing out. Divorce is so ugly... its amazing how many people it affects. I am happy for you! I am happy for the relationship you were able to recreate with your dad and I am glad that baby W. has a grandpa like him :)

Thank you for sharing so much of you with us!


At May 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

amazing, beautiful and so well written.

i love that you're sharing "your" story this way. thank you for this picture into your life. i wish my own story w/ my father worked out this way, but i have a peace even though. and that is worth so much.

At May 28, 2011 at 12:07 PM , Blogger Leigh Anne said...

Thanks so much for sharing! I love your writing style....just beautiful. You are BLESSED!

At May 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM , Blogger Amy said...

This left me in tears. I too struggle with what to say in regards to my parents (recent) divorce and how it's torn my family apart. I am happy that both my parents are AMAZING grandparents, and far better then they were as parents.

At May 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM , Blogger jamie @ kreyv said...

Great post. Your relationship is very similar to the relationship I have with my dad. No hard feelings, but good friends, and that's good enough for me!

At May 28, 2011 at 12:17 PM , Blogger Mikayla said...

this is adorable. Brought tears to my eyes!

At May 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM , Blogger Justcallmeblessed said...

I too grew up with out my father. Your story was very touching. Thanks for sharing!

At May 28, 2011 at 12:51 PM , Blogger Consider The Lilies said...

when i started reading i was so scared for how the story might are just the sweetest and i was aching for how you might still be dealing with an absent father. but i was so happy to read that he is the grandpa he should be, the loving and caring, ever present grandpa in his wonderful grandson's life :) that makes me so happy. i'm sorry for the hurt he caused you but what a beautiful outcome today! thank you for sharing miss momma!

At May 28, 2011 at 1:10 PM , Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Ashley, this was so poignant, so beautifully written. I don't normally tear up when reading blog stories, but yours made me cry! My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer when I was 16, and not a day goes by that I don't still think of him and wish he was here. You are so blessed to have your dad in your life, and I'm happy for you that he is a wonderful grandpa!

At May 28, 2011 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Abby said...

that is an amazing story. I think you are an amazing person for not holding a grudge or lashing out. What a wonderful example you are to the world.

At May 28, 2011 at 2:02 PM , Blogger Therese said...

Love Love Love this fairy tale and dream come true, missing both my parents dearly both of whom have passed recently...hold on to your mom and dad as our babies need their grammys and popos...

PS Love your blog you have kept me going the past few months!

At May 28, 2011 at 2:13 PM , Blogger Lindsay said...

Ash, your perspective is a beautiful one. You are so positive in light of everything. I admire you more than you know :)

At May 28, 2011 at 4:06 PM , Blogger LilBuckarooDesigns said...

You wrote that beautifully Ashley! My eyes are filled with tears. Tears of sadness for that little girl who needed her daddy and tears of joy for the happy ending.

At May 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM , Blogger jamie said...

very touching. thank you for sharing your story.

At May 28, 2011 at 4:43 PM , Blogger Cori said...

This just made me cry. Like actual tears, just sitting here at my computer. Thank you Ashley. What a great lesson in unconditional love. Awesome.

At May 28, 2011 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Kara @ Mine for the Making said...

I love your story. I can relate to it touched me. Thanks for being brave enough to share it.

At May 28, 2011 at 6:14 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

That was a perfect depiction. Simple, which inspires me. I am say the least. Beautiful and full of love. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself...all the time.

At May 28, 2011 at 6:19 PM , Blogger Blanca said...

This brought tears to my eyes. I'm so inspired by you.

I didn't meet my real father until I was 11 and I only saw him a few times. I don't have him in my life and for some reason I'm okay with that. (it's a long story).

Thank you for sharing. I hope to be strong enough to share like that.

Best wishes.

At May 28, 2011 at 6:39 PM , Blogger Life In The Thrifty Lane said...

A beautiful post...

At May 28, 2011 at 7:01 PM , Blogger Brianne said...

Wow. Know that you have really touched at least one person from this post. My dad was in prison for the first four years of my life. He and my mother were never together and she raised me with the help of my grandparents. My dad never really came around much. He would for a few months and then he would move and I wouldn't hear from him for a few years. When I became pregnant with my son I completely cut off contact with him. All I could think was there is no way I will let him hurt my son the way he hurt me. He has tried over and over to call me. Leaves messages about wanting to see his grandson. I just could never bring myself to let him see us. But now, I think I will pick up the phone the next time he calls. Or, maybe even call him. Maybe he could be a good grandpa even if he wasn't a good father. Thanks a lot Ashley. You are inspiring : )

At May 28, 2011 at 7:02 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

people are determined to get me to cry today with their beautiful posts.
i'm glad you have your dad. and that Wes has a granddad.

At May 28, 2011 at 8:30 PM , Blogger Marie@PoutyPinkPrincess said...

I'm so glad your story has a happy ending! I think it takes a bigger person to forgive!

At May 28, 2011 at 8:37 PM , Blogger Rolled Up Pretty and Cut Off Thoughts said...

I'm happy he is the best grandpa and the dad you need now!

At May 28, 2011 at 10:28 PM , Blogger Jayna Rae said...

Well said. Well shared.

At May 29, 2011 at 5:26 AM , Blogger The Miller Five said...

Beautiful and awesome story Ashley! Thank you for being candid and honest. You made a few things in my own life a little more clear with your story. Thank you.

At May 29, 2011 at 5:26 AM , Blogger Ciara said...

This is so beautiful! You made me tear up at work! :)

I have to say thank you for sharing your story. My father was never around us (I went 15 years without seeing him), but I am having a harder time forgiving. When my daughter was born, he would try to call and see her, but I can't just let him hurt her like he hurt me. I am so glad your story has a happy ending! It gives the rest of us hope when we feel like there is none left to be had!

At May 29, 2011 at 6:31 AM , Blogger Ellen said...

Such a familiar story. I have told people that my dad and I really didn't get to know each other until I was old enough to sit at the bar with him. He is a FANTASTIC grandfather, and as even taken off work to do special things with my kids. Thanks for sharing today.

At May 29, 2011 at 6:58 AM , Blogger Shirley said...

It's easy to forget or to even imagine that our parents were young once and made mistakes because of that. What matters is that they recognize those mistakes and do what they can to make things better. Kudos to your Dad for facing his mistakes instead of running further away. A beautiful post by you. :)

At May 29, 2011 at 10:23 AM , Blogger Kate said...

beautifully written! Thank you for sharing.

At May 29, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Blogger Casey Martinez said...

This was such a moving post. Our stories are what move us all. I'm so glad you have a relationship with your Dad today even after the absences in your childhood. That is a very powerful and healing thing!

At May 29, 2011 at 2:52 PM , Blogger Delia said...

Have I ever told you that you are truly the true sense of the word? Thank you for sharing your story about your Dad with us. I know there is probably a lot of ugly laced in the real living of that story, but you made it a beautiful life experience to remember. And that is admirable.

At May 29, 2011 at 11:38 PM , Blogger christa @ enSTYLEpedia said...

twins again...sort of. my parents divorced when i was 2 (i'm also 1/4 mexican) but i don't have a happy ending with my bio-dad...not yet anyway. my dad wasn't around much, i saw him every 5 years of my life, till i was 15 and then nothing after that. your story gives me hope for a relationship someday but i have a totally awesome step-dad no matter what.

At May 30, 2011 at 6:55 AM , Blogger Renee said...

Ashley, that made me cry. I'm so glad you were able to have a relationship with your dad, even if it wasn't the one that most would expect. Sometimes I think people just don't know how to be.

I'm glad you found a husband that will be the kind of dad you want for baby W.

I always enjoy your posts but this one was extra special.

At May 30, 2011 at 6:58 AM , Blogger Renee said...

I forgot to say its wonderful your dad is there as grandpa and as a friend.

My hubby is much better at grandfather than he was a dad. I don't know what changes them.

At May 30, 2011 at 7:42 AM , Blogger Jenae @ Wildflower said...

What a beautiful post! it almost made me are a great writer!

At May 30, 2011 at 11:14 AM , Anonymous angela bench said...

being someone who has the same relationship with her dad, i can totally relate. i'm a product of divorce too, and my dad lives in a different country. my relationship with him growing up was strained, but i notice as i get older that we have much more similarities than i thought and we are now closer than ever... {also largely due to the magic that is vonage!} :-) enjoy your relationship with your dad. he sounds like a great guy.

At May 30, 2011 at 11:15 AM , Blogger Cherry Blossoms said...

What a precious story.
You have a very inspiring story for others.

At May 30, 2011 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Jenny @ said...

so beautiful!

At May 30, 2011 at 6:15 PM , Blogger Katie Gates said...

Beautiful post.

At May 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Kristen Duke Photography said...

I love hearing stories. Thanks for sharing. Love that vintage pic (and love that you are taking a pic of you holding it).

At May 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM , Blogger ashley @ divorced at 20 said...

I sobbed through this entire thing. Ashley this is simply beautiful..words can not do it justice.. but this was amazing

At May 31, 2011 at 5:49 AM , Blogger Tracy 1117 said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I have a very similar situation and I like seeing your perspective, not clinging to anger and just appreciating the relationship you do have with your dad. And I completely understand how you feel when talking about marrying a man who will be a good dad. That was an absolute must for me and I am so excited to be engaged to a wonderful man who will be the best father ever. Again, thanks for sharing your story! I love reading your blog!!!

At May 31, 2011 at 6:51 AM , Blogger Dashing Tales said...

truly a beautiful story... i'm pretty sure i cried a little. :)

thank you for sharing

At May 31, 2011 at 8:02 AM , Blogger Nicole said...

Thanks for sharing that Ashley! You have no idea how much that just hit home. I think the time has come for me to share your blog with my hubby :)

At May 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen to that!

At May 31, 2011 at 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I felt that in my heart. Beautiful.
Your past does not have to be your future.

At May 31, 2011 at 7:28 PM , Blogger Cory said...

I might have cried a little through that post... glad you have your dad in your life.

At May 31, 2011 at 10:09 PM , Blogger The Zeediks said...

made me cry

At June 1, 2011 at 3:46 AM , Anonymous Paige said...

wow!! beautiful words that made me tear up!

At June 1, 2011 at 4:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU are awesome, letting your LIGHT shine!!

At June 1, 2011 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Shannon said...

That's incredible! So great that you could stay so strong through all those longing years and that you could be so selfless to let him back in your life! Amazing Ashley!!!

At June 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM , Blogger Erin said...

I've blog-stalked you for longer than I wish to admit, always reading your posts, laughing at how similar my life is to yours, and enjoying your candidness-but I've never commented before, I think because in the 'masses' I tend to be a silent observer...but I can't help it today! I had tears welling up in my eyes, and even a few spilling over, as I read your post. I just wanted to thank you for sharing something so tender and touching. There are more 'mommas' out there than you can imagine that can completely relate to your story-myself included. Thank you for sharing your perspective on something I've dealt with myself.

At June 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM , Blogger Sommer Clark said...

simply beautiful from an obviously wise and strong woman (wiser and stronger than I suspect she even knows)!

At June 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM , Blogger About Us: said...

Beautiful. I just found your blog and I'm so glad I did. I'll be back to visit soon friend.

At June 9, 2011 at 9:52 AM , Blogger Shahny said...

This is a beautiful story Ashley. I absolutely loved it!

ps. Is that a pic of you & your dad? What ethnicity is he?

At June 21, 2011 at 9:07 PM , Blogger Heather :: AFD Jewelry :: said...

What a beautifully written post - thank you so much for sharing! XO!

At July 1, 2011 at 7:28 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

I cannot say how much I love your blog, and I have been meaning to here I go, this post literally made me cry. True Story. :)

At July 3, 2011 at 5:39 PM , Blogger aleisha said...

i really appreciated this post from you. i have always had a strained relationship with my father and i loved what you said about the type of father your future husband would be. so beautiful!

At July 26, 2011 at 12:43 PM , Blogger Sarah Corrigan said...

I find that I keep returning to your blog because of posts like these, not all the fabulous stuff that I initially sought out! Thank you for expressing yourself in such a way that it touches others!


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