Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesdays were my Ex's night with the kids. Every Wednesday. He would come to my house and I wasn't allowed home until after 7. It was a strange thing because on Mondays and Tuesdays, I often felt rushed to leave work and get home. Then Wednesdays, when I actually had the time to do whatever I needed, I was extremely anxious to get home. I'm sure this week in particular I felt that way, because we were just now starting to get back in our groove after Thanksgiving. But it was still his night, so I had to occupy myself until after the 7:00 hour. I attempted to stick around work, but randomly our company email was down, so there wasn't much to do there. So when a few coworkers invited me to join them for a drink and I willingly agreed. I enjoyed 2 beers and then headed home to where my Ex was waiting. We had a couple things to catch up on with the boys, money, logistics- there always seemed to be something to cover. Our conversation was easy and fortunately there was nothing contentious to go over that night. And then all of a sudden out of the blue, I farted. Not just a silent fart, but a full on unexpected noticeable fart. I wasn't someone who had gas problems, or farted publicly, either. I was typically rather private about such matters. Perhaps it was the beer? I wasn't sure, but clear as day there had been a loud fart that we both heard. Without delay, we both immediately erupted in laughter. I couldn't remember a time in the past when this had happened before? There was nothing to say, as soon as the laughter stopped, it started again. The best part was that I didn't even feel the least bit embarrassed. I probably should have, but after everything we had been through there was no reason. We finished our topics and he took off. And even after he left, I caught myself laughing about it out loud again. Oh life. If you couldn't find the humor, than what was the point?
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
So we had all made it through the first holiday post divorce. I had struggled a little (see post # 217) but had still survived. The reports from my Ex were that my kids had a great time with his family. Upon their return, though, it became quite obvious that I wasn't the only one adjusting to this new family structure. I had naively expected the boys to miss me terribly. It only seemed fair, right? I spent 98% of the time with them. Surely they could see that at their young ages and would feel a closer bond with me? Well, that's not exactly how it worked unfortunately. They returned from their weekend and seemed quite attached to their father. They both were excited to see me, but they did not want their dad to leave. They even seemed to prefer him upon arrival back at home, which really stung me. I was slightly irritated by how easily they had been won over by their dad, even though I knew it was wrong. He was, afterall, their dad. And I wanted them to have a relationship with him. They deserved that. It's just that he didn't deserve them or so I felt. So even though I knew what was best for my kids, if I'm being honest here (which I can be- it's my blog) it was really hard to see them so attached to their dad. My Ex left and the boys and I slowly adjusted to being back together. That night, things seemed to go back to normal. My oldest climbed into bed with me during the night. The next day he seemed extra needy - crying especially hard when I left for work. I hated that moment. I reminded myself that even if I were still happily married, the long holiday weekends often made the following Monday mornings more difficult. That night I got home from work and the boys seemed genuinely happy to see me. We played for a while and then got pjs on. We settled into the couch for a show. And then it was time for bed. My youngest went without a fight. My oldest, however, was more challenging. He threw the tantrum of all tantrums and was crying as loud as his little body would allow. I want daddy. I want daddy. He repeated the phrase again and again, choking on his sobs while I tried my best to hold back mine. When he finally calmed down, he began to ask me about the upcoming week. We were going to go visit my family in Michigan. Would daddy be there? Why wouldn't daddy be there? Daddy would probably be with Robin. Where did I even begin trying to explain. He was only three and yet he had summarized it better than I could myself. I was reminded that even though I was finally getting comfortable with this life transition, my children had a long, LONG way to go. It was like a wound that was slowly healing and then was suddenly ripped open again. There would be many more nights like this. Many more questions. And countless more times when I just sat silently biting my tongue not saying all the things that deep down I wanted to scream out loud about their dad. I didn't know how I would explain it all, how I could answer why this had all happened because much of it I still didn't understand myself. All I knew was that I didn't have to have all the answers tonight. My 3 year old had his immediate questions answered and was finally off to sleep. It was time to call it a night.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I woke up the other morning and made my coffee as per the usual routine. And then suddenly I broke into the cupboard and got a cookie. At 6:10 in the morning. Yes, I had made the mistake of baking homemade cookies the other day while getting in the in the Christmas spirit. They were for the kids! But who was I kidding, it was usually me that ended up eating them. Just not typically at 6:10 in the morning. It did taste especially delicious with my coffee though. Just 1 year ago, I had been aggressively doing weight watchers to lose the last of my baby weight (see post #18) and then my husband told me he was unhappy in our marriage. I was unable to sleep and completely lost my appetite. For like 2 months. Now I'm about to reveal something more personal than I have ever to date on this blog. One year ago, I weighed almost 10 pounds less than I do at this exact moment. 10 pounds! I will deny that should I ever be questioned on it, but that is the truth. I remember the number on the scale because when I saw it, I recounted cynically that at least there was 1 good thing in my life. And now I was sleeping well at night and eating cookies for breakfast. What was wrong with me? How did the saying go- better to be fat and happy than to be...? Was that even a saying? I decided to have 1 more cookie and then it would be time to hop in the shower.
Monday, December 2, 2013
I'd made it through 11 months of 2013. Only 1 more month to go and then this year would be officially over. At times I probably sounded like a recovering alcoholic (which, for the record I was NOT) as I recounted the time. But 11 months under my belt was still something I was proud of. 11 months since my world had been torn apart, and here I was still standing. Not bad. I had even made it through my first big holiday post divorce, which I was also proud of. Now I just had to make it through the mother of all months: December. This one would be particularly hard because of the holidays and of course the memories of what exactly transpired just a year ago. I began my start into December this past weekend by preparing my house for Christmas. To begin with, I bought a fake tree. Now, don't get me wrong, I do like the smell of real trees. But I live in an apartment. On the 2nd floor. With no elevator. I had enough responsibility on my plate, I did not need to carry a tree up and down the stairs for the holidays. I knew what was best for me and for now that was a fake tree. My Ex hated fake trees, too which only made it more perfect. Next I had to get out the Christmas box. Despite our divorce (see post #117) and reclaiming my space (see post #59), I had still not gone through the infamous Christmas box. The box contained our homemade stockings - a gift from my mother - complete with each of our names. It also had ornaments marking all the various occasions from the past 4 years. Our engagement. Our wedding. The boys. I separated our the kid's ornaments- those were still special and I wanted to keep them. All the rest though, I put in a bag for him along with his 'dad' stocking. I added his childhood snow globe to the bag and a couple other holiday pieces that were his. I think that was officially the last of his stuff. Now back to my stuff. I got the mantel set up with the 3 remaining stockings and garland. I adjusted some furniture to make room for the tree. I got it set up and laughed a little to myself at how small and fake it actually looked, but it still did the trick. It looked perfect. Okay December...let's do this. I was as ready as I'd ever be.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
I have never been very good at good byes. Be it saying goodbye to my parents after a nice visit, or goodbye to my children before they went with their father for the weekend. I get emotional. Every time. So it should come as no surprise, that yesterday, after enjoying a perfect weekend with my brother and his family, I suddenly lost it- almost on cue- when it was time to say goodbye. I recognize that to my loyal readers, I may often sound all over the board here. I’m strong and confident one day and then I’m sad and hurting the next. That’s a fair assessment. I'd like to think that it's quite normal for anyone going through a significant life change but perhaps that was just normal for me. Regardless, that was where I was. So in knowing that, I will recount for you now what transpired in my final hours in San Diego. I woke up with a genuine pain in my heart from missing my children so deeply. I could almost cry now even as I write this because it was so real. I thought I was tougher than that. I knew I would miss them, but I did not anticipate to feel that weight of emptiness having been apart from them for a little over 3 days. I should have known better. I reminded myself I would see them the next day and climbed out of bed. I spent the morning with my brother’s family. We had a nice breakfast. We took a walk to the beach- the weather was the typical beautiful San Diego day with temperatures nearing 70. I thought the sun would lighten my heart and brighten my mood. And it did for a short while. It wasn’t until I said my final goodbyes and my brother and I were on our way to the airport that it truly hit me. I gave him a warning, although I think he knew me well enough by now to know that it was coming. And then the tears came – raw and pure. My brother had seen this before, and to his credit he had gotten much better over the years in acknowledging his sister in this sad state. I told him I missed my boys, but I didn’t even have to – he knew. I mean, I was ready to go back to Chicago, but I wasn’t. My kids wouldn’t even be there when I got home. He reminded me what I had survived already and how the new year was on the horizon. And there was no doubt that 2014 was going to be a better year for me. He was certain that I deserved that. I knew he was right. I knew that on any other day, I could have told myself all the same things and it would’ve been enough. But today, as the goodbye was already stirring emotion within, I was thankful to hear it from someone else.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
There is one thing for certain that I have learned through divorce. The more I am away from my kids, the more I love them. It sounds crazy, because the more I am with them, the more I love them, too. But it's true, distance makes the heart grow fonder. I never would've chosen chosen divorce and to see my kids every other weekend, but things happen. And during this time, I have learned somewhat how to make the most of that. As a mom, I needed a break from time to time. I needed it to be about me. Not always. And not even often. Just every now and then, I needed to be something more than just a mom. I was forced to give up my kids every other weekend. I could have wallowed in this loss, or I could embrace it. And I chose the latter. Because of this, I was able to spend time with friends. I was able to relish in time for myself. This past weekend in particular, I was able to enjoy some quality time with my brother and his family. I got to get get to know my nephew and witness my brother as a father, which was truly adorable. I missed my kids every moment I was away from them, but I could enjoy the time even more because I knew that when we were back together again, I would appreciate them all the more. It wasn't always easy, but I was thankful it was getting easier each day.
Friday, November 29, 2013
One of the best things about holidays was the long weekend. I could sleep in today and I probably would. In fact, I'm most likely sleeping right now as you are reading this. It would be just another beautiful day in southern California and I was excited to spend it with my brother, his wife, their dog and KINGSTON!!!!