There’s a lot of kids running around, balloons everywhere and the Paw Patrol theme on the beautifully set table.
The twins see us, and they automatically run to tackle hug their dad, then me. They talk about how they love the gift Hunter gave them, a couple of super cool motorized cars for their age. They both hold his hand and want to go show him immediately, and they run with him, giggling in the direction of the backyard.
I follow behind, slowly, wanting to give them the time with their dad.
I’m thankful for them accepting me, loving me, and need to respect their space with Hunter too.
“I’ll go check on the face painter,” Anthony says, dashing out to the backyard.
I glance around, in the living room, seeing a few moms talking to one another on the far right corner. After all that happened, I never thought I’d be invited back here.
I also didn’t think Hunter would win over my parents, and it only took him a few diners together. I relax, smiling to myself. It’s all good.
“Britney,” Susan calls me, sashaying from the kitchen.
“Yes?” I turn to face her. A bit of apprehension crawls under my skin. We have never been alone without the kids or Hunter nearby. Is she going to chastise me or are we truly over that?
“Can you help me bring these snacks out?” she says, pointing her head in the direction of bowls—one filled with colorful pieces of fruit, and the other with chips and salsa.
“I’d be happy to,” I say.
She looks at me, then the slightest smile forms on her lips. I know what that means—it took us a while to get there. I helped end her marriage. She has all the reasons in the world to hate me. But somehow… she’s moving on. She’s thinking of the greater good. “Let’s do it.”
I grab the bowls, the apprehension from earlier fleeing and now, a sense of serenity coming over me. I am happy. I love my man, and the family we have. There’s nothing else I need to apologize for. “Let’s do it.”