This will be my last official "summer at home" with the kids... but between trying to work and edit sessions and the kids being with El Capitan - the days go by far too fast and I feel like I'm losing this last summer with them quickly......
Stupid, overpriced health insurance..... sigh.
Anyhow. I have tried to pick one day a week where we go on an Adventure Day! We've been to the Zoo with Keeber and to Last Thursday's market with Keller and last week I decided that we would go on a one mile scooter ride and have a pic nic in the park by the old house.
The Girl was quickly regretting her choice in footwear: The Peppa Pig boots that Lashla sent her from the UK were faaaaaar too hot for an 80 degree day.... but otherwise, the Scooter Mile was a hit!
El Capitan and I had been going back and forth on when he was picking up the kids - because that's how it works with us, there is nothing set in stone other than the intent for him to see the children several times a week. This time varies depending on the kids social plans, my work plans and El Capitan's plans.... and thus far: it's going really well to do it this way.
So, while we were at the park, El Capitan showed up and joined us for our picnic lunch. The kids were thrilled to see him we all sat and at lunch together. It was really very nice because we used to take the kids to that park allllll the time before the divorce, and it struck me that I was sitting on our blanket and enjoying the sun and the kids playing and our lunch - and.... wait for it.....
Wait. For. iiiittttt.......
I was enjoying this new kind of company with El Capitan. The kind where we can sit and laugh at the kids and enjoy them .... *together* .... as *parents*..... at the same time. Not the kind of time where we're telling each other over yelling kids and throwing shoes and coats dropped on the floor and general hand-off chaos.... "oh, the kids did the cutest thing today...."
Nope. That day we were both present in the same moment in time: and enjoying it.
It was a year ago *right now* that The Sign was en-route from the printers, the neighbor boys were pulling weeds and laying bark and I was boxing up El Capitan's stuff and moving it to storage: by myself.
I really do feel like all the little things I did.... all the decisions I made along the way - and face facts yo: it was *me*... if you read back over The Blog, you'll see El Capitan disappeared more than a few times in those early days..... but I kept the course of the choices I thought we should be making... and I can't help but feel *slightly* happy to be reaping a few of those "rewards" right now.
So then during all the fun and the good times... the laughter between us fell a bit silent and El Capitan said, "Hey - you never replied to my message on Friday......"
I should rewind.
Last Friday I had a date.... a very nice date with a lovely girl who does sweet things like send me text messages in the morning that say, "Don't forget about dinner... see you at 6pm".... but then she goes to the totally wrong location of the restaurant we've agreed to meet at. lol (hi there.... :)
Side note.... see how *great* dating girls is.....? I swear, it's the bestest thing ever.....
So we were meeting for dinner before El Capitan was due to drop the kids off with The Bubbie and The Papa... no biggie.... but shortly after said drop-off time I get a super long text from El Capitan...... in short: The Girl dropped a tailgate on her head and The Boy stuck his fingers on the hot stove and two are blistered.
I call home and The Papa is already freaking out and checking The Girl for signs of physical injury or a concussion... thankfully there are none.
The Bubbie was putting band aids on a distressed Boy's fingers and discussing with him how he *knows* better than to touch a hot stove.... but she assures me, over the phone, that the kids don't need to go to the ER, that the "injuries" are minor and all is well.....
Even still... I'm pretty sure I blew out the rest of my date by being emotionally distracted and worried and checking my phone ever ten minutes...... sigh. I *swear* that modern technology will be the *death* of my dating life......
So..... back at the park, El Capitan asks and I explain that I called home and that it didn't seem to be a huge deal and that kids are *going* to get hurt at some point while they are with him and La Novia and that I thought he handled it fine.
He then tells me that La Novia was very upset at both injuries.... that they both happened because the kids weren't listening and behaving as they should and ..... drum roll please:
La Novia went online and researched a few sites, like Super Nanny and stuff, to find a way to create HOUSE RULES for their home so that they could start working on the children listening and behaving better when they are over there.
So, she created a list of rules and then laminated them.
She then got two dry-erase markers in different colors - and BOTH children have to get a PLUS sign next to each rule in a certain amount of time and they can earn trips to the arcade of the yogurt place.... (yes, *that* "froyo" place.... bwahahahaha oh, that still makes me giggle... anyhow....)
She crafted a system where the children have to work *TOGETHER* with good behavior to earn the reward.... if they misbehave, then the plus sign get's erased and they have to earn it back.
Well... well.... well.... LOOK. AT. THAT.
La Novia is all parenting and sh*t...... nice one, chica.
I'll admit.... it stung just a weeeeeeee bit to hear El Capitan talk about another person finding *any* kind of "fault" with my children's behavior.... (because they *are* perfect angles, right? lolol) - that's always been my job.... and I'm pretty good at that job, dammit. For the most part, we have *very* well behaved children.
So I asked El Capitan if this was coming from a place of annoyance and frustration with the children or a place of general parenting concern? He assured me it was just concern... plus, their place is smaller and there are issue's there that the kids have never had to deal with,etc.....
So I asked him to have La Novia make the same rules for our house and I told him that we would do the same thing in our place as theirs so as to fully support this effort in their house.
I mean..... seriously. How f*cking rad is that?
Here La Novia is taking *responsibility* for the well-being and rearing of the children..... I'm so excited about that.... honestly. I *really* am.
I am *fully* aware that lots of women who have stood in my shoes do NOT get a La Novia in the person who cheated with their husband.... I know that. I know many times people enter a spouses life to steal them away and want little to do with the children.... or *worse* whatever interactions they *do* have are super negative.... but: I got lucky.
That's kind of f*cked up, huh - the idea that I see this all as lucky now.... and for f*cks sake... before one of you writes me and tells me that I'm just saying that because I'm gay and that some negates not only the value of my marriage but also the depth of the utter, brutal emotional pain I felt when El Capitan left...... I'm going to start punching people right through this monitor.
I'm *lucky* because I COULD have let my anger choose... I could have let my hurt decide.....but I didn't.... and then I learned to tolerate and then to accept.... and *because* I created a space for someone to *grow* and be apart of this family.....they did that.
La Novia has done that.
And my kids are lucky for it.... and that makes ME lucky, too.
So we were sitting on our blanket, eating our sandwiches and I'm taking pictures of us four sitting there and The Girl say's....."we're still a family......"
Yes...yes we are. It's not the family I married into... but it's the family that grew up in it's place when that family was blown to shreds..... and I'm feeling pretty lucky that something so beautiful has taken it's place.
BooF*ckingYah...... to La Novia and all the La Novia's out there...... this Mom thanks you.