AYG - my hopes have changed. I did take the kids to Disneyland - on my own! :) Woohoo me! I'm still *planning* on taking that road trip... just have to find a creative way to make enough money. I think we can do like two weeks to Iowa and back for my 20 year high school reunion.... and make it a learning trip, study up on certain landmarks and make the whole thing educational. I've changed all of our eating habits now, and I'm down a total of 38 pounds and I'm averaging 4 miles a day at the gym. Double woohoo.
I've done those things: on my own.
I have tried very hard to continue to do the things *we* wanted to do for our children and the things I wanted to do for myself - in spite of what El Capitan and Yoga Girl have done to us.
I don't have a huge "focus" on finding my own personal 'Edward'..... in fact, I'm fairly certain no man will want me. I'm not young, I'm not 'thin', I have two kids and can't have more.... i'm not exactly any future Mother In Law's 'dream' for their son.... at least that's what I *honestly* think. (Don't flame me for that... lololol)
But.... there are times when I truly miss having someone else in my life. Sometimes, I miss El Capitan's hand on my back - the way he would pull me in for a kiss.... and seeing as how he *wasn't* "the one" - I can only hope to think that if I do meet "the one" - that those moments will be even more intense: more romantic.
Hell.... I might actually get to have an orgasm one day. (A girl can hope).
But, more than the hugs and the kisses and the emotional support.... oh, and if I'm being honest: I really miss the conversation. I miss the coming home and hearing about his day - problem solving issue's with certain managers or associates, etc.... I miss that. I guess I miss being apart of a "team". Clearly, this team was 'one-sided' because El Capitan was a willing part of this team until the day he moved out... and small, interesting fact: Yoga Girl thought we *were* divorced.
I know.... that's what I said. Apparently, the first Sunday night in April when I found out about Yoga Girl - *before* he had even admitted he was wither her, had had sex with her, etc..... he drove to her place *THAT NIGHT* and told her we were DIVORCED.
File that under the stupid things 22 year olds believe. lololol
Anyhow..... more than the kisses and the cuddles and the being apart of a team.... I miss having an extra set of hands: let me explain.
I hope and pray that there comes a day where I can do one simple thing that I can't seem to manage to do on my own: go the f*cking bathroom.
If we're at home..... I don't even get on the can before the door flies open with "Mooooommmmmmyyyyyyyyy.... [The Boy] won't share the Little People......."
or...."Mooooooooooommmmmm.... I need some water!"
What.... like from the toilet? From the sink? Have I not raised these children better than to want to drink toilet water? Really......? I never thought, in my whole life, that I would say thing like, "Honey, we won't bring our sandwich into the bathroom." OR - "Dude.... we don't bring a bowl of popcorn onto the toilet."
And yet... in they walk: toy in one hand, argument/problem/issue to tell me about while I'm mid-piss.
At home, I can deal with it - I can negotiate the handing off of toys, the sharing of the TV and keep reminding that the same place where we leave our food to be flushed is no place to *consume* our food.... but being public is another matter altogether.
I refuse to leave them outside the bathroom. I also refuse to leave them even outside the stall... can you imagine being crouched down, panties around your ankles and someone walks in to nab your kid? (Clearly, a) I want too much CSI and Law & Order and b) you know you crouch ladies when there's no toilet seat cover... so don't judge).
So we have to wait for the large handicap stall. Which is wrong... because that stall is designated for handicapped people.... but the three of us can fit in there. No one is allowed to touch things - chrome handles, chrome bars, the paper dispense... yuck. Each of them turns toward a different corner and we give each other "privacy". but oh man..... what I could not *give* to be able to one day say, "Hey hun, I'm going to hit the ladies room, can you keep an eye on the kids?"
More than a house of our own... a new car.... financial stability.... what I really want is to one day be able to hang a piss: on my own. In Autonomy. Alone. In Peace.
See.... AYG.... my goals and hopes are significantly lower than they used to be. Nothing like a 22 year old to stream line your goals and needs. lololol
At the same time, I've learned to appreciate these little things, the fact that they need me. Sure, it's not exactly at the most opportune times..... but, it's nice to be needed.
I know there will come a day when the very idea of me having any kind of bodily function will have them running and screaming from the room. There will come a day I will spend hours: alone. They will be busy with friends and social activities and talking on the phone to boys.... and all those things kids do.
Sadly... there will come a day when they don't *need* me as much as they do now, and I know I will miss seeing that bathroom door flying open with my anxious three year-old's face twisted in mixed frustration at her brother who is bogarting all the Goldfish and won't give her any.
And that day.... is approaching too fast.
I hate the very idea of that..... I know they can't stay small. I know it's a joy and a blessing that they grow every day... but if we're not careful - they can not only grow up, but also grow *away* from us.... and I think that sentiment is especially true for divorced parents.
When I was married, we thought as a team. We planned as a team. We parented: as a team.
As a single Mother, I do everything alone - but not really because at the back of my mind I'm always worried about what El Capitan is doing - what he's thinking... what his friends and his barelyoutofhighschool girlfriend are telling him he should be doing..... and so then I have to do the thinking of three parents.
There's what *I'm* thinking.
There's the "If El Capitan is doing *this* then I will have to do XXXXXX"
and then there's, "if El Capitan is doing *that* then I will have to do... YYYYY"
Living in my head is a confusing place most days..... but living with my kids: is not.
The Boy, just today, came flying into the bathroom announcing: "Mom, can you call Dad and ask him for a play-date? Because I really want to go to XXXXXXXX".
Umm.... can it wait until I'm out of the bathroom? I replied.
"Oh yeah... sure, of course, sorry Mom." and then he closed the door.
It wasn't but a second later when the door opened again and The Boy said, "It's just I miss my buddy and I want to see Dadd."
Ah.... yes, there's nothing more that I want to talk about while sitting on the toilet than El Capitan.
I also *really* don't want to have some kind of 'in-depth' personal conversation that The Boy *might* actual remember as as adult... one of those 'Hallmark' moments in parenting that your kids remember forever while my pants are around my ankles.
But I can't control any of that..... I can't help where I am and the circumstances - so I say, "I will talk to your Dad and let you know when that can happen, okay pal?"
"Ok Mom..... "
Now, I should be alllll kinds of like - see El Capitan look what you're doing! The kids keep asking for play-dates with you... clearly you're not a "parent" anymore... blah blah blah. Because that's true. Both kids have now asked for a 'play-date' with their father. Because *he* has chosen to be around them less, they are seeing him differently. The Boy, more than The Girl, understands what this mean on a level that I didn't clearly see until the last week or so. Which breaks my freaking heart........
But, even in my humbled state with toilet paper in one hand, I was glad to hear all this. Why?
Because, even though The Boy will tell you that his Father has been selfish, that he has chosen a girlfriend over his family - that he doesn't see them, that he has made 'bad decisions' and hurt him and The Girl: he still see's his father as his friend.
BoofreakingYAH, haters...... that's all me you know. :)
I have endeavored to teach both of the children that life, and often the people in your life, Will. Let. You. Down. Period. over and over and over. Sometimes you can walk away from these people or situations, and sometimes you cannot. Sometimes, you have to wait and work things out with someone. Sometimes *you* will be giving a friend a second chance - and sometimes *they* will be giving you a second chance.
Usually these conversations are over Jack taking Iron Man and refusing to share, or some kid eating the last cookie on the tray. I have taught The Boy that people are more important than toys and money and things - and that he should always *try* to find a solution before he gives up on things.
Everything can start with a friendship. EVERYTHING. I'm not sure what kind of "co-parent" El Capitan is going to be... that's up to him. However, I'm not going to assume *just yet* that this pattern for the last months is going to be *how* it's going to be forever..... I'm just not willing to do that yet. So while my guard for the children is cautiously (and appropriately up) - I was glad that The Boy is hurt, but still open.
He's made his feelings clear (twoish posts ago) - but today, without any comment or ushering from me, he asked for a 'play-date'. I think that that is a great start (again) because friendship is about trust and if The Boy is still looking to his Dad for friendship... then if El Capitan get his sh*t together, I believe their relationship can be healed.
So neh-neh-neh-neh-nah..... take that "Ryan" and Yoga Girl and all you other haters who think I "poison" the kids against El Capitan. I don't. Never have. Never will. The Boy's attitude is a sign of that - it's the *product* of that.... and to that I say: El Capitan, you are welcome.
I came out of the bathroom to find The Boy a little bit sad. I *did not* talk about El Capitan, instead we talked about friendship and what's makes someone a friend. We talked about how sometimes our friends make big mistakes or small mistakes (like stealing cookies is a big mistake, and taking all the Iron Man's is a small one). We talked about how sometimes you have to tell a big sprout if your friend is drawing on the walls and sometimes we can negotiate taking turns with toys or video games.
I asked him if he was my friend... he said yes - that he was my "bestest friend." I told him he has *always* been my 'very best friend in the whole wide world' (which is what I always tell him) and then I said this:
"So, you're my best friend, but sometimes I do things that make you mad and sometimes I make bad decisions, right?" I asked.
"Yeah.... I guess."
"and... sometimes, even though you make bad choices like not sharing with sister, you're still *my* best friend, right?" I asked.
"Well yeah... of course Mom."
"That's because," I explained, "friends can make mistakes, they can learn from their bad decisions and we can help them make better choices - and even though sometimes you and I made bad choices - we still love each other, right?"
"Yup..... of course I love you, Mom."
"Right... and sometimes that's what happens with our friends and we can still love them, too, right"
"Yeah.... Mom, we already talked bout this." a getting-bored Boy replied.
Deep down though..... I know he heard me. I know he's hearing that friends/El Capitan/whoever - can still be someone he loves and wants to be friends with. This, I think - is huge.
I actually try *not* to talk with the kids "about" El Capitan. Instead, I try to keep focusing on teaching the life lessons and emotional tools to use in their relationships with everyone in their lives. This is something I have taught them both since they were born, even before they could understand me. By continuing to focus on that - focusing on *that* kind of parenting, I have to hope that I'm doing the right things...... Believe it or not, no matter *how upset* I get or how angry I am..... I have not detoured from this. I really haven't. The angry ex-wife in me *really* wants to some days.... but the Mother of My Kids always wins out.
And you know what... after the last 10 months - I'll take a small, teeny, tiny victory anywhere: even if it is on the sh*tter.
One small disclaimer. As you know I heard from El Capitan. He no longer has the phone he had and I have said that I am uncomfortable sending him off with the children without a phone number to reach him at. I don't think this is an unreasonable request. And no - I do not *usually* call them during their visits - I just don't like the idea of *not* being able to call at all.