The Single Life


Remember the post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the fact that I am getting divorced?  Yeah, of course you do.

Well the flip side of that is I’m single.  Sort of.  Not legally able to get married at this point (thank god), but able to date.  Something I am just a tiny bit out of practice on…which makes me over think it.

And while doing so, it dawns on me, that my life isn’t exactly private.

Clearly I do not have a ‘public’ life on camera, but once you know my name….well….you can Google me.  And that gives you access to A LOT.  Not every single part of my life, but LOTS of it.  40 pages of entries with my name on them.  My writing.  Video.  Comments. 

And that makes me nervous.  Why?

Because, there is no way to avoid the “I have three children” conversation, let alone “I have three special needs children”, and worse yet, there is NO way to minimize the chaos that is my life.  I cannot even attempt to sugar coat it. And last time I checked, you are supposed to put your proverbial ‘best foot forward’ on a date… Leading with my boys’ acronyms isn’t the way I would choose to start.

Which makes me slightly more than nervous.

So let’s assume if my hypothetical date wanted to know about me, he may have Googled me.  That means that when I walk into meet him - whether that is the first or second (or more?) time I've seen him, he has a big head start on the getting to know you part.  AND he may be scared.  Overwhelmed.  Something, right?  I mean have you read my blog?!

Um.  Yeah.

My point is that it never dawned on me I would be single and have my whole life – out there. 

But I do.

So, for any potential suitors out there that have stumbled onto this post after Googling me before a date, please be kind.  My boys are my life.  And they are AWESOME.

Also, thank you.  Because my husband hasn’t read my blog or anything else I’ve written in years, so in a way it is flattering that you are interested enough in what I do that you would read my blog.

Flattering and terrifying.

And for all of the HLW3B readers out there who are reading this, leave a comment for my potential new boyfriend so that he knows I am NOT crazy, and that having special kiddos - with quirks and special interests - does have an upside!

H

18 comments:

a Tonggu Momma said...

I haven't read any blogs since we brought home Squirt, so I didn't know. Hugs to you, and yeah, there are times I am glad for my pseudonym. (AND times I feel ridiculous using it.)

Lea Keating said...

Dear potential suitor,
CONGRATULATIONS! You are one lucky dude to be dating our friend Hartley. You'll figure out pretty quickly that she's got it all ... looks, charm, personality and humor. Oh and she bakes. Well. She's the real deal - what you see is what you get, refreshing don't you agree? So treat her well please - and enjoy the ride!

Mamma2boys said...

This mom is dedicated to her boys, as a momma should be. She is witty, and tells it like it is. I don't know her personally, but I am so glad I know her though the internet and get to read her writings. She has helped countless people with her blog and SPD Network blog. My family is better for it!

Lelah Kimball said...

Think of it this way, any man will know exactly what he is getting into. Something most of us don't know. He'll take it on willingly and knowingly. He can be prepared. And that he can start with an experienced guide, well, he's light years beyond the rest of us who just wake up one day and try to start figuring it out.

Gavin Bollard said...

Hi Hartley,

To be honest, I've been really, really busy (and sick etc...) lately so I actually missed the divorce post.

I'm floored.

Totally floored.


Anyway... I guess that says that your private life isn't as visible as you think. You're carefully keeping a lot of your negative?? feelings well and truly under wraps.

Of course; anyone who reads about you online will at least get a surface-sense of person that you are. That's not such a bad thing. It might weed out the shallow people and set you up with someone really nice. Someone who has similar goals and will love you and your children for who you are.

Don't be afraid to be yourself. Anyone who doesn't want to accept that isn't worth dating.

Martianne said...

What a great and honest post!

Future Hartley suitors: Do know that just by the fact that Hartley has been able to make time for you with all she does for her boys and others, you must rate okay. And, by all mean,s know Hartley rates VERY high with many people. She is an awesome person, an energetic advocate, a truly dedicated mom and a woman you are lucky to have met!

Lisa Quinones Fontanez said...

You are awesome! And I'm just going by your blog alone. But if a potential suitor cannot see that or after reading a paragraph of anything you've written - then he doesn't deserve you. Think of your blog as a weeding out the undesirables :)

Hartley said...

Thank you all for the amazing words of support! You all rock!

Hartley

Meg said...

Good luck! Dating with special needs kids is not easy (for any of you) but in the end you will find a wonderful man that wants to be in the journey with you and your boys.

flamegirl said...

I have a son also named Gabriel he is almost 4 non-verbal boy with autism. After reading the older posts in your blog, especially the one of "It Will Get Better", I finally felt someone out there truly knows what we special needs moms are going through with our special kids.

flamegirl said...

i failed to mention in my previous post how I stumbled upon your blog. I just watched the biopic Temple Grandin on HBO today and after having seen the movie, I reflected on how my life has changed since my son's diagnosis and I tell you it was hard NOT to cry. For some odd reason, while surfing the net, I typed in the words Will my son Gabe ever get better and your blog came up! I'm so glad to have chanced upon your blog. you are one strong mother and I still have a lot to learn about dealing with my son's condition. I do count myself lucky for having a younger daughter who is neurotypical and at 14 months is speaking in sentences and is very persistent in communicating with my almost 4 yr old non-verbal son. Life will always be more challenging for us but we should also count our blessings :)

Stepping On Cheerios said...

I'm totally out of the loop. I'm sorry to hear you have to go through this but I hope the change and a new outlook on life brings you what you need and deserve.

Hartley said...

Thank you all again - the divorce process is hard, but we are making it! : )

Sheila said...

I am going through the exact same thing right now with an infant and my Autistic son. THANK YOU for showing me that I'm not alone!! As always you give me hope.

Michele with jack and isabella said...

Dear Hartley suitors,
Don't pass this chance up. Hartley is beautiful, brillant, funny, loving. All good things rolled into one!

Hartley, I am saddened to hear that you are on this new journey. But I pray that it brings you to a new wonderful place in your life.

Lucita Star said...

Dear Hartley,
This is my first time visiting your blog. I was searching for information about finding a babysitter for my special needs daughter diagnosed with Autism(she is 8 years old) and the search engine redirected me here.

I am really sorry about what you are going through, my prayers are with you and your family in this difficult moment. I also pray for lots of wisdom and strenght. I am sure we all agree the process on itself is no fun at all, I got divorced 4 years ago, dad couldn't take it, Autism was not for him.

I just met you (through your blog) and all I can say is how fantastic and incredible of a person you are.

For your potential suitor: Hartley is an amazing woman, she has all of the qualities a real man would want, she is a beautiful person both outside and inside, but more importantly she has a whole crew following her through this blog, so be nice to her otherwise you will hear from all of us :)

Sarah Hoffman said...

I'm guessing that you absolutely do not want a potential date/mate who is scared off by your boys/your life. The right person will EMBRACE all that is you, all that is your boys, all that you face every day. Because there are awesome, loving, kind, openhearted people like that in the world. So in that way it's really kind of fabulous that you've shared your life on your blog, so that without you even lifting a finger you can weed out those who just couldn't hack it. Because who needs to date people who don't/won't get it?!

Sarah Hoffman said...

I'm guessing that you absolutely do not want a potential date/mate who is scared off by your boys/your life. The right person will EMBRACE all that is you, all that is your boys, all that you face every day. Because there are awesome, loving, kind, openhearted people like that in the world. So in that way it's really kind of fabulous that you've shared your life on your blog, so that without you even lifting a finger you can weed out those who just couldn't hack it. Because who needs to date people who don't/won't get it?!