Prince Charming, Cinderella and Hansel all have July birthdays.
Last week, my ex-husband and ex-stepdaughter came to my house to celebrate Hansel's 9th birthday.
This past weekend it was Hansel and Gretel's turn to visit their Dad's to celebrate his and Cinderella's birthdays.
But before that, presents needed to be purchased and cards were made.
I know the subject of birthdays is a hot topic amongst divorced and stepparents.
Admittedly, my own opinions on this subject have changed over the years. In the early days of this blog, when I allowed myself to be bitter and angry over situations I had no control over, I had a total FUCK YOU attitude and played the tit-for-tat game with Maleficent. If *she* didn't take Cinderella to get a gift for her Dad, then *I'm* not taking Cinderella to get a gift for her.
Later, as I stepped into the role of acceptance and rose above the pettiness - I let go of the things I couldn't control and focused on what was right for my stepdaughter, I found greater peace within and so did Cinderella.
If a present needed to be bought, I took her. If her Mom didn't help her pick out a gift for her Dad's birthday or Christmas, I took her shopping for one.
Likewise, I took Cinderella to pick up gifts for her mother because it didn't matter how *I* felt about Maleficent.
It wasn't about *me.* It was about my stepdaughter.
What right did I have to deny her the pleasure of showing her love for either parent? What would it prove by refusing to take her shopping? Who would I be hurting most?
I try to live by the mantra: Love your kids more than you hate your ex.
This applies to ALL ex's... your spouse's ex too.
In keeping with this mantra, both Hansel and Gretel were taken out this past week/weekend to pick out birthday presents for their Dad and their sister. And they were excitedly dropped off to celebrate with them on Sunday.
Though, in all honesty, it wasn't that difficult of a task.
I'm thankful I don't have the kind of relationship with my ex that *he's* had with his ex. Where celebrating birthdays, or simple acts of compassion, are forced.
I know my kids are happy about that too - for it creates a safe environment where they can express and show their love for their Dad.
Yesterday was Prince Charming's actual birthday. I made sure my kids called to wish their Dad a happy birthday, and when they handed me the phone, they heard me wish him the same.