Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner with Family and Ex-Husband

Well, we got through it. I crashed yesterday, too tired to do anything after getting ready for my sister and bro-in-law (S&B) to come down today. Got the little house looking nice and shiny-o, the X watched the kids while I went shopping.

When I got back, I said without even thinking "Here, brown this ground chuck - I'm making us some tacos!" - and X started doing it but was very quiet and kept rubbing his eyes with the back of his hand. I realized what I had done and felt bad - we have always cooked together, and I just said what I did without thinking.

"Hey," I said, "You don't have to feel obligated to stay or to cook - I mean, if you want to go home, that's OK. I should have asked you if you wanted to stay and eat tacos instead of assuming."

He looked hugely relieved, and said, "I don't want to seem mean... I just really want to go home - I think I'm going to just go to bed."

He went home, and I finished cooking dinner. He called right as we were done eating, and said again he didn't want us to think he was being mean. I apologized again, too, saying I felt like I had taken him for granted, and I shouldn't have done that. I said I understood he needed rest (neither of us sleep too well in an empty bed after all these years). He's very depressed.

It's awkward, sometimes.

Today he wasn't sure he should come over, and when he did get here he went in D's room and played with him. I just let it be. I knew he felt out of place. I don't know how to help that...

We did have a fun dinner; we all sat down together and it wasn't awkward at all. We laughed and ate the scrumptious Thanksgiving dinner and had a great time. After we were done, though, he felt uncomfortable again and went on home. He's supposed to pick up the kids in a bit so they can spend the night and I can get some work done.

I do worry about X - he was doing great for a few days, but I think he wasn't that busy this weekend and everything kind of hit home for him. I know yesterday I couldn't seem to focus, finally gave up and sat in the recliner and watched like six TV shows I had DVRd.

It's still all so surreal. Maybe after we finally get the last load of stuff out of the old house and he gets settled in things will be better.

Christmas will be harder, I think. S&B going out of town, so it will be just us - guess X will come over and watch kids open presents and we'll eat.

Rain and cold moving in - I think it's going to be a long, dreary winter.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

First Post Divorce Thanksgiving

(I know the divorce isn't 'final' yet, but for the sake of simplicity I'm just referring to myself as divorced.)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and it's weird being divorced on a holiday. I opted not to do a big thing on Thanksgiving Day; X is packing for his own move and my sister is coming in Saturday so I will cook then. I told X he is welcome to come by - he was kind of unsure, but then he and my sister never quite saw eye to eye.

I said "You have to eat at some point - may as well eat turkey with your kids," and he said "Yeah, that's true..." I asked if he thought my sister would be rude or hateful, and he shook his head. I know he's embarrassed. I don't even want to think what HIS family will say about ME.

Oh well. I'm spending tomorrow writing, and might pick up a load or two from the old house and bring it over - all my books (2 1/2 bookshelves!) are still over there.

Side note - I really, really wish that the teensy gold ants would have shown up before I moved all my stuff in - spraying now is gonna be a pain. They instantly appear from nowhere if a crumb gets dropped - I opened my lovely chocolate orange to give the kids a slice, and set it on my desk - in minutes it was covered with ants and I swear I had seen not ONE all day.

I'm finding it hard (A) to ask X for help and (B) not to ask X for help. It just feels weird. How much do I let him help and how much do I try to do on my own? I mean, hooking up the stove (had to change the plug out) was beyond my ken, and paying $100 or more to have an electrician do it seemed ridiculous when X could do it in 15 minutes.

I've decided to let him do stuff like that - it's for the kids, right? - but I know I can't be too dependent. Another tightrope to walk. Sigh.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Getting Divorced...

... and I have three kids. What do I do? How do I make this easier? Will it get easier?

I can do this. I know I can. The question is, can I do it right? I figure it's one day at a time from here. Divorce is new and shaky ground, and a path I never thought I'd end up taking. Here I am, though, so it's time to put one foot in front of the other.

I moved this past weekend, into a little house I picked out myself. I signed the lease myself. I paid the deposit myself. I got the utilities turned on, myself. Granted, I had financial support from some very good friends, but the point is I didn't just ask for a divorce and then sit there like a lump. I did something about it.

I moved out.

And took the kids with me.

We are managing to keep it civil, X and I. I'm pretty proud of that. It's not a hateful divorce, where we are using the kids against each other; we decided from the start that they have to be the #1 priority. That means not fighting and making them any more upset than they already are.

So far, so good.

If we can keep it up, I think we'll be OK. It all depends on if we can hold our shit together independently - we may have been all of 24 when we married eleven years ago, but neither of us had ever really had to stand on our own two feet. Now it's sink or swim time.

The kids are taking it better than I thought - V (who I expected to be a drama queen) cried hard for a minute or two; but she had seen it coming and rallied fast, asking natural questions like could she keep her cat and where were we going to live.

C was a different story. I had been terrified he would widen his eyes so no tears would fall out, hug his arms around himself and run away to his room, holding it all in so as not to be any trouble. Instead he broke down completely, sobbing for nearly two hours untill he fell asleep; as hard as it was to see him like that, I was relieved as I sat and rocked him.

D is too little to understand - he's used to 'Da-ee' working funny hours and being around intermittently, so it's not having as hard an impact on him.

The morning after we told the kids they seemed almost normal, and since then there has been some minor acting out but nothing too bad. They've had a few stomachaches. I'm trying to be lenient in some cases but still draw a line at very bad behavior, and if their tummy hurts I sit with them and rub their back.

Now that we are fairly moved into our little 3 bed 1-1/2 bath, we have the Thanksgiving holiday to get settled in. I let each of the kids have a bedroom and turned the living area into a studio for myself with a bed, desk, chair and TV.

V has the 1/2 bath, which is why I am not altogether certain why she just spilled half a bottle of bright lavender nail polish on the carpet (good-bye, deposit). No, wait - she just came in and glory be - she got it up. Baby-wipes are wonderful things. Nail polish now relegated to vinyl-floored bathroom.

C has the room with the high up windows, which led to hilarity when he inadvertently locked the door and exited the room, pulling the door shut behind him. I had to boost him up and let him crawl in and leap to the floor inside, which he did with amazing alacrity. Adventure!

V and C made a pact to take turns sleeping at 'Dad's house' so he won't be lonely. So far it seems to be working out well. D is sleeping remarkably well here - of course, still being in his crib, having the same stuffed animals and hearing the same music station playing on his TV softly makes it feel natural and homey to him.

All my stuff is still in horrific disarray, but I have a massive project to finish and then there's Thanksgiving - so I figure I'll get to sorting it all out in December. I've very nearly made all the money I need for December already, so I will be able to focus on paying back my debts and socking back a cushion before I face my CPA with evidence of my procrastination.

Divorce sucks... but not as bad as staying together and ending up full of hate, bitterness and anger would have. I think I pulled the plug just in time. I just hope X hangs in there and does OK so the kids have him to look up to.