I have this friend who worries that her children will not understand or rather think badly of her if they found out she had a number of loves in life before finding the "right one." Actually--they need to know that life sometimes takes many turns before we emerge on the right Avenue. Maybe then they will not try to make to much out of the first emotional bud that surfaces. Sometime you have to cut the bud back to make the flower stronger and more resilient.
I have a difficult time with people who want others to believe that their life was one of perfection and that shazam just like that life came out perfect. What we need to say is--there was this girl named Martha who broke my young heart and then talk about it. The point becomes--we got through it, did not die and life went on to the next encounter. Kids need to know that we in spite of what may seem reckless abandon we did set rules for people in our lives which is why we had different people we came to know. It was how we learned what would work in life, who would really be there and who was really our friend and not just a fair weather lover. These friends remained in life when relationships failed and they were always there to re-assure us that we were going to be OK.
I have this friend who I had not seen for many years and her first question was "did everything turn out OK?" I wanted to just say...you know not staying with you was a very bad decision on my part but I did not. She obviously had kept track of me as she was too familiar with what I had done and where I had been and wish she had said..."you blew it Mr." What is interesting is that while we were talking her oldest child paced nervously as if they didn't want to hear about this part of Mom's life. I hesitated to give her a hug not wanting it to be misunderstood by her son...but I did tell her she was always going to be special to my life.
We need to let our children (if you have them) know we did not grow up in a cloister or a seminary and that we lived our lives with gusto. What we may not want to mention are the imaginary life we lived...our own perfect Camelot.