Never settle for less
Mister Wonderful proposed in December, on my birthday, in a place that’s about as close to paradise as I’ve ever been. It was a perfect way to cap a milestone in years and a year of milestones, and further proof of just how far I’ve come.
If you read my columns regularly, you know I’ve shared some pretty tough experiences over the years. My marriage was over long before the divorce, which only made it official. I was pretty adamant I would never remarry. I had soured on the whole idea and wanted nothing more than to bask in my new-found freedom and assert my independence for the rest of my life.
I chose divorce because I didn’t want my children getting a false sense of what love and marriage were supposed to be. They didn’t see their parents affectionate with each other or even say “I love you,” and, in my opinion, that picture is almost as bad as seeing your parents argue all the time.
But I have wondered in the years since about what they might be missing.
My son is pretty oblivious most of the time to anything other than sports, but my daughter has had a front row seat to my post-divorce dating and it hasn’t always left the best impression.
That’s why I’m beyond ecstatic to be where I am right now, not just for my life but for “our” life.
I knew the first time I met my fiancé that he was something special. But, that my kids knew it as well is an even bigger testament to the man he is.
He does more than just play catch with my son or take him to a sporting event (which does go a long way with a boy). He’s taught my son the importance of opening the door for his mom and stepping aside to let his mom and sister walk in front of him because “ladies go first.”
With my daughter, who’s tough as steel, he helped her learn how to drive, cheered at her basketball games even when I wasn’t there, but – more importantly – has shown her what love is supposed to look like by treating me with the kind of respect I want her to expect for herself.
When I called to tell her the good news, I could hear the pure joy in her voice. What she messaged me later really went to the heart of it: “Mom, I haven’t stopped smiling since I talked to you. I’m so happy for you!”
That warmed my heart and made me realize that, perhaps, I’ve taught her one of the most important lessons of all: Never settle for less than what you know you deserve – even if it takes you half your life to find it.
Catherine Anaya anchors CBS 5 News weeknights at 5, 5:30, 6 & 10 p.m. She is a mother of two, marathon runner and motivational speaker. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with her on Facebook, twitter and at CatherineAnaya.com.