The sting –

Franco: And now my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving.

[Franco rips off his rear-view mirror and throws it out of the car]

Franco: What’s-a behind me is not important.

 

Except that sometimes it sort of is…

April 23. It’s always a hard day for me. It marks the day we all said goodbye to my mom.

I think we all have these days. Days that come with a sting instead of a song. No matter what good comes of the day, it’s always a bit bittersweet.

This year I actually spent it with good friends enjoying a bit of racing, I *almost* could have forgotten what day it was. I got a ride in a Ford GT (WHAT?!?) and laughed an awful lot whilst sunburning my so-pale-as-to-almost-be-translucent legs.

I was so glad to have been able to make *that* day into something a little sweeter.

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That red GT- yes – that one right there. 

But yesterday hit like a ton of bricks.

I went to hang with the kiddos for a while, as I always do, after not having seen them for the weekend while not-yet-ex went to the store. To discover that every picture that I was part of had been removed from the public rooms of the house and shuffled to corners of the children’s rooms. Some of my things (fairly – nothing of any real importance) had found their way to the trash. Things my stepmother had made for us found their way into the kid’s rooms as well.

Ouch.

Suddenly amicable things aren’t feeling so friendly.

We’d already agreed that I’d help shuffle some things out of Bug’s room – so cleaning was already on the docket.  I just shifted that effort. Sweet Pea held the door while I loaded the car – backseat – full, trunk area – full.

You’re going to fairly make the point here that I’ve moved out quite a while ago – none of this should matter. And you’re right – if we’re following the first rule of Italian Driving.

BUT –

Most of these things I’d put off dealing with for a reason (no – that doesn’t make it right either). They were mom’s or something she’d given, or made. A costume I wore in a play when I was 8. A dress I wore to a ballroom dancing competition when I was 23. The little glass divided tray she used to put pecans in every Christmas.

It’s hard to look at these things and remove them from the house that I wanted so badly to be our dream home. Where I’d used them to entertain friends for Thanksgiving (NO – not in the childhood costumes – though we might file that away for later and more humorous use.) It was hard and I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t emotionally prepared – and I was angry because I felt I’d been blind-sided.

But so be it. It had to be dealt with. And it was. It didn’t matter.

Not-yet-ex was shocked when he came back. He didn’t understand. He wasn’t trying to make a statement according to him (thought this neatly coincides with him starting to see someone new.) But it’s okay.

I have these things now. They’re precious to me.

NOW – we’ll pull out that first rule of Italian driving and go make some new memories. Ones we like better. 😉

 

 

Fraught…

Oh friends – how these last several days have been fraught.

Fraught with anger, frustration, disappointment and so many other things.

Things with the kiddos have been lovely. Bug made great strides on riding his bike this past weekend and even received an award at school – this was one of those, “Are you sure that’s meant for my kid?” moments.

But times with the not-yet-ex, yeah. Slightly difficult. And am I being hard on myself about everything under the sun? Oh boy, you bet I am.

You expect that things are going to be fraught with difficulty when you’re in the process of dissolving a marriage.

I suppose I didn’t expect to be rehashing the basic facts of what started the dissolution a year in.

This is the fun of divorcing in a state that requires a year of separation. You’re meant to carefully consider why you’re leaving. Make sure you can’t possibly, even a tiny smidge, reconsider working things out.

And I’m swallowing the harsh reality that no matter what you tell someone about your motives for leaving, and how it happened, and how everything has gone down since, they’re going to believe what they want to.

And I’m learning that I have to be okay with that. It’s hard for me. I try to be a peacemaker. I ‘doormat’ myself too often, willing to back down for the sake of not having to fight.

Not caring what someone thinks is SUPER hard for me. But I’m learning. Or trying to.

I’m also learning that I have to continue to stand up for what I believe is best for the kiddos regardless. It’s so much easier to let things go when you’re married. Again, it’s all for the sake of peace. But when you’re apart – some things glare – and you have to go with your conscience and HARD.

I know this is growth, but for the record – growing hurts – a lot. And I’m sure I’ll see the beauty of weathering the storm and whatnot down the road, but right now a bit of shelter sure does sound nice.

 

 

The Reminder…

So a friend of mine and I have this thing we call “The Reminder”.

As I’ve said before, I’m very fortunate that the not-yet-ex and I have a surprisingly good working relationship. We have each other’s backs with the kids, and even manage to continue to be interested and support one another’s other endeavours. (It’s a bit unsettling to discuss his dating life – but it’s all or nothing, right?)

So it’s not unusual for things to go along swimmingly and to occasionally lose immediate focus of everything that caused the split. Then it comes….

The Reminder – it’s one of those moments that smacks you in the face and helps you recall why it is that you sit on a consignment couch in a relatively empty townhouse instead of on the much nicer sofa in the house you spent the past 12 years living in.

As I always say, I am completely certain that the not-yet-ex would relate similar.

We had one of those moments last night – he bowed out of hanging out with the kiddos while I closed the barn to support a family member in a tough situation.

I happened to get very bad news about a mutual friend – that I called to pass along.

….and had to stop talking about it to let him take a selfie while at a restaurant with said family member.

In the moment I was livid, absolutely boiling mad. I even made one of those passive aggressive FB posts I hate so much.

And he texted to find out what was wrong. Which I ignored.

And he called this morning to find out what was wrong.

I finally caved and told him – I’m angry. It was insensitive and it was wrong. This was important and about someone he knows and cares for. It was worth 3 minutes of his time.

And he got defensive. This is our MO – I tell him what upset me – and likely don’t phrase it in a productive way – and he gets defensive – and I get more angry – and we’re off.

But today an amazing thing happened. I stopped. I said, “You have every right to defend your actions. I have every right to be angry. The thing I don’t understand is why you care. I don’t understand why you care if I’m angry. This isn’t our thing anymore.”

And it felt so good. I have always played the peacemaker, which usually involves backing down for me. And I didn’t.

And the best part is that he backed off, not down. He said, “I didn’t call to fight. I called because I want us to continue to work well together and I don’t want anything like this between us. So I knew you were angry and wanted to clear the air.”

Well damn.

And it worked. We both let it go. We still disagree. But we got it out there, and moved on. I don’t want to hate him. He doesn’t want to hate me. So we don’t. We move on. We take care of the kids. We make jokes now and then.

I know I’ll get another reminder before long. And so will he. But we’re able to let them go and move past them – and it’s really not a bad place to be.

 

If we were having coffee… 4/2/16

It might be a beer instead because it’s now afternoon and it’s been that kind of a week. Thought I’m always glad to press some fresh joe if that’s your preference.

You’d definitely be listening to me prattle on about how proud I am of my fearless girl and her 1st time mountain biking this week. She hit the single-track like a master and my cheeks hurt from grinning.

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<Awww – that’s sweet! You go girl! You say.>

I’m certain I’d have some choice words about a dear friends’ not-yet-ex who left her because ‘God told him to’ after he got saved and realized that he’d rather be knocking boots with his ex-wife (which he’d never stopped doing in the first place.) It chaps my hide for people to blame their choices on God. Grow a pair. Read up on free-will. Own it. Personal responsibility is a thing. Give it a try.

<What a jerk! You say – I love how supportive you are when listening to my rants>

You’d get to hear all the gory details of my ass-bumping trip down the stairs a couple of days ago and how my adorable son tried to come to the rescue. Let’s not forget the resulting ass-shiner – as I am now dubbing the bruise that dons my derriere.

<Bahahahaahahah! You say – because it’s funny – and because you’re now noticing that I’ve been sitting on my other hip this whole time>

This would be about the time I’d realize that I’ve been gabbing at you for too long and am embarrassed. I also have to go call out the children who sound like a herd of wild buffalo upstairs. Excuse me for a second, then I need to hear all about your week – please?!

<Crash>

Crap! What is it now? KIDS!!!

 

 

 

Everything and nothing…

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So I’ve been hung up on what to write about these past few days.

It’s spring break here and the kids are alternately amazing me with their stellar behavior and flat-out giving me a run for my money on sanity.

I busted my ass down the stairs two days ago and have what I am dubbing the ‘ass shiner’ as the bruise is perfectly the color and shape of being punched in the eye – just on the other end of things. (Dear God, I hope that’s not a ‘thing’ – if it’s some sort of ‘thing’ that I’m not aware of, someone save me here. I will *not* be googling, just in case.)

There have been riding lessons and some family movie time, some work and some play. We did go mountain biking with my dad and step-mom. That was fantastical. Sweet Pea knocked my socks off. it was her first time riding on a trail and she owned it. I’m a proud mama.

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Wide single-track, but single-track nonetheless. I’m a proud mama!

So – other than the ass-shiner and trail riding – it’s been relatively mundane.

What’s one to write about when it’s like this?

  • Life is good.
  • Not-yet-ex is pleasant.
  • Kids are… kids.
  • House is slightly messy, but not terrible.
  • Mountain biking was fun.
  • Nutella muffins were hockey pucks.
  • Blueberry muffins were a hit.
  • Listening to the kids play and make up things is the joy of my life.
  • Tiny cans of Stella are the best thing since big cans of Stella.
  • Ass-busting sucks.
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These FTW – Nutella muffins FTL

That’s when you realize that these are the moments. This is it. This is living. We’re doing the thing, with little-to-no-drama or insanity. That’s really pretty damn exciting! So there it is – it’s everything and it’s nothing – but I’ll take it any day over dramaland!

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In which my daddy tries to help my boy with riding a bike. He just pushed me down a hill. Not sure why the technique has changed, but what the hey!