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My annual mopey summer vacation post

July 14, 2011

I am at my parents’ house, working remotely and doing schoolwork and looking for a house for me and a place for LOD to live in in Ann Arbor. LOD has the kids up in the wilds of New England, where they’re mostly off the grid, doing things like tossing rocks into the ocean and duckpin bowling (whatever that is) and hanging out with second and third cousins.

I miss them. And they miss me. Yesterday the little one called me and told me he missed me.

I wonder when this gets easier.

I’m busy here, so it could be a lot worse, if I had time to think about their not being with me.

I wish I could smell their sweaty little heads right now.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Lisak permalink
    July 14, 2011 10:15 am

    Smelling their heads is the best. Daily requirement for momma.

  2. July 14, 2011 10:21 am

    It’s funny, but I like to smell their smelly feet. Weird, eh?

  3. July 14, 2011 10:32 am

    Right now I have my boys for the summer. In a few weeks they will go back to their mother’s 1,300 miles away. And I will feel the same. Not sure it gets any easier for either parent.

  4. mom2boy permalink
    July 14, 2011 10:37 am

    I don’t think the missing your children when they are away for any reason ever goes away (unless you are Casey Anthony perhaps). The fact that they are with someone you respect as a person and as their father probably makes the forced separations a lot easier than you even realize.

    • askmoxie permalink*
      July 14, 2011 11:12 am

      Yes, but if they were with someone I didn’t respect I’d be worried about THEM instead of feeling sorry for myself, if that makes sense. I know they’re having fun (and are safe and fed, etc.). It’s me that feels sad. A few years ago I would have felt guilty for letting myself feel bad that they’re gone, but by now I’ve figured out that I get myself into more trouble by not acknowledging my own emotions than by naming them. So it’s not Misery Poker. I miss them, but it’s not worry, just longing.

      • mom2boy permalink
        July 14, 2011 3:11 pm

        Yes, those are two different things and it does makes sense. As does putting words to feelings.

      • jaz permalink
        July 18, 2011 10:02 am

        I’ve been divorced and sharing my kids with someone I’m not crazy about for 9 1/2 years; moxie, your description (July 14 11:12am) of the emotions involved resonated with me. After so many years of sharing them I’ve managed to drown out those feelings so they’re not always right there every minute my boys are gone. At least once a month something causes me to tap into those emotions and do they ever run deep. Sometimes it feels as though I have a huge gash from my heart to my lower abdomen. But, for the most part, I use and enjoy our time apart to work on something that enhances our family life or just recharging myself for when they’re back.

  5. July 14, 2011 3:06 pm

    Oh! The sniffing of the head!

  6. oneday@atime permalink
    July 14, 2011 3:41 pm

    i am separated but still living with my children’s dad (they are ages 2 1/2 and 5 1/2). because we cannot yet stomach the thought of being apart from them, we are punishing ourselves and each other by not allowing our lives to move on in that way. there are many days i feel we’re doing what’s in the kids’ best interest by maintaining a stable home for them until we can buck up and do what needs to be done…but there are so many other days that i just feel like we’re living a huge lie that perhaps is even apparent to them (though don’t want to stomach that thought, either). damned if you do…damned if you don’t. we attempted mediation…and then “dropped out…” and have no formal divorce precedings in place. have no idea what i’m doing or what i’m waiting for (or what he’s doing or what he’s waiting for)…and only wish i had your strength and courage. any thoughts or insights are always appreciated. i wish you only the best…

    • askmoxie permalink*
      July 14, 2011 4:30 pm

      Oneday, my strength was for my kids. I didn’t want them growing up thinking what their dad and I had was what marriage is supposed to be, and I didn’t want to set them up to get into a marriage like ours. I’m ok with what I’m showing them divorce is.

      • oneday@atime permalink
        July 14, 2011 4:57 pm

        i am waiting for that day (those MANY days) of needed strength and courage. i am getting closer day by day (i hope!). i think you are navigating through your divorce with grace, honesty and dignity…and once again, thank you for sharing your experiences to help others through their own complicated circumstances.

      • Tuesday permalink
        August 1, 2011 12:16 am

        This is how I’ve come to think about my marriage and its end and how I often explain my conclusion that, although I did not ask for it, nor initially agree with it, my divorce was a necessary (and arguably good) step for all 3 of us (Mom, Dad and 4 yr old daughter). It goes like this: One day I found a pair of shoes that I absolutely loved. They were very well made, practical, attractive — just great shoes. When I tried them on somewhere way in the back of my mind I thought maybe they were a little tight in some places but, no matter, I loved them, they were declared perfect and the deal was sealed. Seven years passed and over the years without realizing or being able to identify the precise source of the discomfort, the ‘shoes’ rubbed and pinched and made me grumpy and distracted and even made me walk unnaturally. They even stunted the paths that I was taking and how well I was able to walk with or carry my daughter. Small as she was I think she even noticed that I ‘walked funny’… Am I making sense? Well, fact of the matter is – I would have worn those shoes forever, because that was the purchase I made and I didn’t want to believe in a return/refund policy. Skip to the present, analogy nearly over… The shoes came off. After a few therapy sessions (perfunctory on my husband’s part) he had decided that a divorce was the only reasonable and necessary solution. I cried and resisted and felt like my life was ending. At some point I looked down at my now bare feet and realized that they didn’t feel pinched or irritated anymore. Furthermore, I hadn’t seen my real, naked feet in so long! And slowly I realized that there was only the absence of that constant pressure and friction and I wasn’t nearly as grumpy and tense and distracted. And best of all I could walk so much better and I could hold my daughter’s hand and skip alongside her. True, sometimes I feel much more ‘exposed to the elements’ without my ‘shoes’ but I’m quite certain that these feet can take me anywhere I need to go.

  7. July 15, 2011 12:41 am

    So much of this experience makes me feel grateful. That I’m able to bring my boys here, that they love it so much, that Moxie trusts me as their guardian, and that whenever they say they miss Mom, I can hand them my phone. I think it helps the boys immeasurably to know that Mom is never more than a call away.

    Tonight, the boys’ heads smelled like lake water and campfire, although the pleasure of smelling them was tempered somewhat by the tick check.

    • July 24, 2011 1:31 pm

      It has become apparent to me that you and Moxie have a more respect for each other as divorced parents, than most people have as married ones. No matter what comes next, it is obvious that you will all be happy.

  8. MomPlusKid permalink
    July 18, 2011 12:40 am

    Placing the person I love the most in this world (my son) in the care of the person that I trust the least in this world and that has hurt me the most (my STBX) is a weekly challenge. And something I never imagined I would have to deal with. But, for me, it comes down to my son and making our divorce as functional and as least damaging for him as possible. And all I can do is my part in that.

  9. July 25, 2011 9:01 am

    So, what is a marriage supposed to look like?

    • July 27, 2011 4:21 am

      I wish I knew. I’m still working out what a failed marriage looks like.

  10. Chrissy permalink
    July 28, 2011 10:39 pm

    I admire your strength. If only my STBX were like LOD and would allow my kids to call me when they want – that would mean the world to me.

    My kids are on vaca with their father this week – it is the longest I have ever been away from them since they were born. One phone call per day (and one text photo from the girlfriend) is just a tease. I can’t wait until they are home.

    I admire you both for your strength and honesty. I hope someday to be like you through this struggle.

  11. Tuesday permalink
    August 1, 2011 12:29 am

    Once I let go of the little (in the grand scheme of things) things like food choices and too much TV exposure when our daughter is with her dad, I trust him implicitly. Thank goodness! I feel so much for parents who have to have concerns about much bigger things when their child is with the other parent.
    But as much as I like the freedom and try to fill my “off time” with lots of work and social engagements it’s hard to shake the feeling of being untethered, purposeless and sort of floating in the universe when I’m not with my daughter.

  12. A2parent permalink
    August 2, 2011 5:49 am

    Visit cohousing in Ann Arbor to see if this is the right housing option for you. I get no benefit for telling you this (am not a realetor, etc.) – I just really think you would like it.

  13. MAem permalink
    August 19, 2011 9:42 pm

    I think you might mean “candlepin” bowling? 🙂

  14. October 4, 2011 9:19 am

    No, she meant duckpin – little pins, little balls. Little kids (and college students like I was) love it. Seems to be a New England phenomenon.

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