I've only known Laurie about a year but she became important to me before I even met her. You see, she lives with my son's father. Yes, you've got that right. Laurie is my ex-husband's girlfriend.

Any woman who spends two nights a week with my child is instantly of great interest to me. I have only a few criteria for judging any of my ex's (Sean) significant others. And yes, I'm admitting here in a public forum that I judge. (And I don't believe you if you say that you don't.) Number one: is she kind to my child? Number two: is she trying to take my place? And number three: does she make my child's father happy? That's it. She is kind to Jake—check. She always asks for and respects my opinion, and never ever tries to pretend she's his mother—check. And she loves Sean—check.

We're good.

Laurie and I are developing a relationship outside of our shared interest in my son and I'm learning about who she is. She raised a daughter by herself and did everything within her power (and still does) to provide for her. She is funny and creative and distracted and self-deprecating. She makes the best meatballs around and throws a great party. She is infinitely feminine and fun-loving and she is very sweet. Jake loves her and she loves Jake and I believe with all my heart that the more people who love my children, the better off they'll be. So, Laurie, welcome to our (crazy) family.