There has been a shift once again in my life. Last night I had an aha moment. For other divorced women out there, you will be able to attest to how gigantic this shift is.
My ex left when my daughter was 13 and my son 14. I felt abandoned as a parent. I didn’t know how I was going to manage two teenagers on my own and all the chores. I panicked at the thought. Every time I had a struggle with one of them for whatever reason I felt bitter resentment build toward my ex for leaving me alone to deal.
Being a parent is a huge task; monumental. And I didn’t sign up to do it solo. I was the most angry that he not only left me to do it ALL (from my perspective) but also was denying them the kind of life I had dreamed for them with two loving parents by their side in the same home.
When the kids had dances I would email my ex reminding him and suggesting that he be there to see them off. When they had banquets I made it known that I expected him to show up. Swim meets, concerts, awards ceremonies. That is what dads do.
Likewise when my son would blow up and act out in anger I would internally curse him for not being there to help me. When my kids tested me with the rules I became bitter that I had to be the heavy all the time.
Part of why I felt that way was because I felt woefully inadequate to meet the task. How could I parent my children without my husband? We’d been such an integral team and often his calm would balance my emotions. He helped with everything. I relied on him so much. How could I possibly get by without him?
It was a scary thought.
But last night something miraculous happened. I went to my daughter’s band banquet. It was just the two of us and it not only felt right but in the end I’m very glad it was just her and I. She had a rough night. She didn’t get put into some leadership positions for next year that she thought she deserved. She showed a brave face but as soon as we got into the car the bawling began.
While we were there my son posted on Facebook that he was doing the dishes for his mama. He’s been doing a set of chores for allowance and between my daughter and son they are picking up some major slack in that area that helps me a lot.
When we got home he had recorded himself singing and playing piano and guitar to the Coldplay song Trouble. He sat and the three of us talked about options my daughter had for next year. Then she and I snuggled under the covers in our jammies and had a good heart to heart talk and some prayer.
Later that night Martin rang to say good morning from Copenhagen Denmark where he is for meetings. The three of us had a good chat from my bed. My son joined us later and played Martin his new song. We laughed and the kids said good night leaving Martin and I to talk for only about 10 minutes. They had sucked up all my time with him but he was glowing. It was almost as if he had been here with us. And we felt like a family.
Martin encouraged me at what a good job I was doing and that’s when I heard the door slam. My daughter said something that ticked off my son and they were arguing. And I thought, it truly never ends. The minute you think you’ve got it licked, kids throw you for another loop.
But even faced with this I did not feel that familiar resentment rear its ugly head. I dealt with it. Later I opened my son’s door to kiss him good night. He had not put on his retainers. He was not wearing his back brace (he needs to wear 24 hours a day for his scoliosis) and I later found out he did not bring in his bike from the porch as I had instructed him to do…but there he was my little boy. And I crawled onto his bed and snuggled with him for a minute or two just because I could.
Not once all night did I wish my ex was there to help me. Not once did I feel overwhelmed or inadequate.
People say time heals all wounds. When I was nursing the wounds of being blasted by an explosion that ripped my life apart at the seams I could not fathom the confidence and contentment that I have today.
My daughter texted her dad from the banquet about what had happened and he texted back, “That sucks”. But when we got home she didn’t want to call him because she didn’t want to get upset explaining it all over again. She opted for chilling out with me and Martin. I suggested she call him a couple of times always mindful that it is important her father be an important part of her life.
But no longer do I feel angry at him for not being there. It is his loss I’m afraid. She is doing fine. My son is doing fine. And so am I.
Martin booked the tickets for him and his girls to visit mid-June. We are attending a family party in Vegas over the weekend of their visit where they will meet my entire extended family and Martin will see my mom and sisters for the first time since the big brouhaha.
He just called me from Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen Denmark after sneaking away from the business group he’s with to tell me he spoke to a global manager about Jesus and that led to conversation about America and eventually this man urging Martin to take more drastic steps at campaigning for himself and a job there. He’s made another ally.
He is still as determined as ever. And I’m starting to believe again that one day it WILL happen.
But whether it does or not, I’m at peace knowing that my life, right now, this minute, is exactly what it needs to be and I can handle it. Alone or not. Waiting or seeing the wait over for Martin and I to be family. We’ll see.
Whatever my future, what I know right this minute is that my bitterness is disappearing and is being replaced with gratitude and confidence.