My ex husband left when my son was an infant.  Initially, we did not hear from my ex’s family.  Looking back, they probably had no idea what to do.  One day, my son and I received a package in the mail.  It was a book written and drawn by my niece on the ex’s side of the family.  It was a book that introduced my son to the members of their family.  She had photos of everyone and their pets.  She drew maps of where they lived.  My niece described herself and the rest of the family to my young son through her photos and drawings.  She told him how much they love him.

She followed up with a visit.  I will never forget sitting at the airport waiting to pick her up.  My son was about three years old.  He said, “Mom, why are you doing this?”  My answer was simple:  “Anyone who wants to love you is always welcome.”

That book is one of our most prized possessions and sits on our bookshelf with love and pride.  Most importantly, she reached across the divorce, resulting in an extremely close relationship with my ex’s family.  We have had over 20 years of warmth, love and fun because of that book.  It is the best book ever written and is our #1 bestseller.

Dedicated to my niece, Dodi.



  1. “Anyone who wants to love you is always welcome….” that sentence may have just changed our life….

    Thanks – That is a phrase I will be keeping in my back pocket.

    • Okay, so now you made me cry! Who could have known that when my son and I were sitting at the airport, waiting for my niece to arrive…a single mom….totally broke….wondering what the future would bring…and, now, we may have helped someone. Life is really something.

    • It’s so terrific. Nowadays, it looks archaic as it was all hand done as opposed to sending digital pictures and getting them beautifully bound. It is a most prized possession.

  2. I love this post! That was such a sweet, thoughtful thing for her to do. My ex’s family has also continued to treat my children (and me) very well, and I think it speaks very highly of them.

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