It’s surprising what can make you raw, or then again maybe not. Whenever the ex’s job takes her out of town or vice versa, the other steps up and runs the child show solo for the duration. Been doing it long enough that I really don’t think about it.
The young man is bunking on my couch, while the girls are holding court at the house. They get a little taste of responsibility and independence, but close enough I can smell the smoke. The kids and I fall into a pretty great flow and as everytime their mom goes away, she returns to see all three still alive, fed, etc, so I think I’m doing pretty good.
We’re in day 2 of a 3 day stint. My mother in law calls and wonders “What are they doing for dinner?”, meaning the girls. Now, she is one of the most giving, good hearted souls that I know, but the way she managed to ask the question felt like somebody starting pouring bourbon in an open wound on me.
I sat there in my car outside number one son’s guitar lesson and just ate that feeling of upset. I know she didn’t mean anything but the way it sounded was nausea inducing, like I was less of a parent because I don’t reside at the house anymore or that my parenting involvement is suspect since my ex is out of town. “Can he handle it without the former Mrs?’ I sat there in a numbed stupor texting this to the lovely mother of my children who talked me back down. I don’t know if it is a feeling of spinning my wheels a little bit at work or just remembering what it was like in the eye of the gossip hurricane at our church a few years ago or just being overtired in general. But I needed a moment.
She called, we chatted, and I felt better after initially feeling worse. I started to tell a tale and couldn’t get to the end of it. What makes that silly is what provoked it was nothing by comparison to some of the sins that I’ve already strode through. I’m not sure if that is making any sense. I know my Mom-in-law wasn’t out to upset, just to help, but sometimes something benign can start a whole sordid turn. I vented, I baked (cookies) and am better now.
Show’s over, move along folks…