Thanks for Reading Suburban Adventure

Monday, May 30, 2011

The "D" Word

Another Day, another dawn- Thank you Puff Daddy or P. Diddy or Sean Combs. Im not quite sure what you go by these days but I always hear that song in my head when the rest of the world is asleep.

It's one thirty in the morning. I put Giavanna to sleep at 9:30 pm and unfortunately fell asleep beside her. I woke up at one am and now apparently my body and brain are ready to get dressed and go to the Memorial Day Parade. Should I perhaps go and put some chairs in front of the Town Hall so we can get the best seats in the house. I recall being reprimanded last year by a very grumpy parade goer. Apparently,I was sitting too close to to a women who had prime seating and she didn't seem to enjoy children.

Come on now- where is that good old fashioned parade spirit- don't get me wrong- I like a small town parade especially when my kids are in it, but it's not exactly the Royal Wedding. Play nice parade people- we are all dying to get a peak of our favorite soccer player ,boyscout or girlscout. Perhaps you are even there to see the giant tractors with enormous wheels. A not so gentle reminder to me that Im no longer in Boston. I opt instead to put my thoughts into writing so here I sit at my kitchen table and start thinking about my kitchen table.

This table was purchased in my third year of marriage and I still love it. I always wanted a large French country style table that fit many people. My table is not quite as big as I envisioned but it seats eight. It is in fact quite large for the three of us as we gather nightly for dinner. We always eat dinner together and in fact have great conversations as I monitor their manners consistently. I always tell them when they are grown up and successful, they will have dinner meetings and how they present themselves is of utmost importance. I have been delivering this message since they were three and five and honestly I think it has paid off. They are polite and calm and enjoy conversing over a meal.

Now, don't get me wrong- there are plenty of nights when someone is grumpy or tired or Giavanna throws her bowl at me. Just kidding- but you get the idea. No perfection here- Im just reiterating to my children the things that I think are meaningful. While I have the ability to mold them and give them a solid foundation, I shall do it with vigor. Since it is just the three of us, Im glad that my table isn't any larger. As it is now, I feel like we are missing the other four people that should be joining us everynight. A bigger exclamation point on the fact that we are a single parent household.

If you told me nine years ago that I would be a single mother- I would have emphatically declared that I would never get divorced. I would never want to raise children alone. I don't believe in divorce as it is the easy way out. Divorce is NOT an option, my ex and I would say when we were in the earlier stages of our relationship. I never imagined that I would ever get divorced. I suspect that no one thinks that they will, that they are somehow different from "those divorced people". I have heard many people say that getting divorced is the easy way out. In fact, I think at one point, I have been one of those people.

Until you have traversed this path, with its unknowns and fear as well as disappointment and sense of loss. I would suggest that you not preach too loudly. A simple fact that I will share with you is the following. It is not easier to get divorced, it is far simpler to stay married. Im not speaking on behalf of someone who has struggled with abuse or some other horrific situation. I speak as a woman who had a marriage that was unsuccessful because of differences. Differences in background as well as demeanor,energy level and most importantly the differences in how we approached life. The changes and challenges as well as the addition of children and death of people we cherish. The differences that make you feel like you are living with a stranger who is no longer your best friend. It happens to the best of us and as I enter my forties the number of couples who are getting divorced is rapidly increasing.

I am now, happily divorced and Im thriving but it has not been easy. I now welcome the challenge of single handedly being responsible for my children. I see them exceling in every area of life. Im thrilled with them and they make me extremely proud. I have given them all of me. I have done the work of two parents, the emotional aspect as well as the logistical aspect. I do not have a network of family around. The au pairs that I have had were so immature it was like having three children, and as you know- I do not live in a cozy neighborhood with people who are aways free should I need a hand. In the mornings there is no one helping me. When Christopher has to be in early like he did the other day for Nature's classroom, I have no choice but to take Giavanna with me. Last week she had strep and she was exhausted. I didn't want to call a babysitter for a half hour trip but I felt terrible that I had to drag her in her pj's to send Christopher off. At night, after preparing meals, cleaning up and doing homework. I have to then put everyone to bed and address the emotional, intellectual as well as physical well-being of everyone. Im an orderly person so as I do all of this- Im making sure that everything else is tended to. I am not complaining and find free time to enjoy being an adult however I have to paint the picture of reality. I think people have such a misconception about the D word.

When I first got divorced, people bombarded me with the most intrusive line of questioning. Acquaintances would drill me about alimony, child support and they wanted to know all of the details of my situation. Im not sure what the intrigue was all about except perhaps that their own marriages were failing. There is a curiosity factor, however I was brought up with the idea that the personal details of others, were simply none of my business. My Mother and Father lived this by example and did not gossip. My parents emphasized respecting other's privacy and I share that line of thinking with my children as well. Live and let live.

I don't judge anyone because I don't want anyone to judge me. I believe experience guides us to make different decisions at different points in our life. We don't know what our life has in store for us. We don't know what challenges or losses or blessings lurk around the corner. We all tend to be emphatic about how we think we will deal with certain situations.

The truth is- until you are swimming in that ocean, you simply don't know how deep it is or what strange thing will be floating by you. You have to swim the best that you possibly can and try to stay afloat despite every undertow that is trying to pull you down. You have to have confidence and courage and optimism. I think of my Father who was my best friend and I miss him daily. He was not alive when I got divorced- thankfully.
If he ever saw me without a grin, he would put his hand on my neck and tell me to cheer up. "This too shall pass". Thank you Dad, it has passed. You were right once again. I only wish you were still here so I could tell you that. I do however feel your presence and see your spirit alive and well through my children. You gave me confidence and I will pass this confidence on to Christopher and Giavanna. Onward my friends, this life is filled with challenges and you will get through each and everyone of them. It just takes time.

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