Posts Tagged ‘custody’

It’s going to be a very long month.

July 11, 2017

It’s only been three days. Wait, no – scratch that. Two days. I saw the girls the day before yesterday. But two days feels like three days; it feels a long longer than even “just” three! The girls are spending their month of summer visitation with their dad, and it feels like an eternity.

When the girls were little – those late toddler years and early school years – July was a much needed respite from broken nights of sleep and exhausted late evening hours filled with whining and bickering. I could sleep in sometimes as much as 45 whole minutes on work mornings if I didn’t need to drop the girls off at daycare, or, later, twenty minutes if I didn’t need to drop them off at Stepmom’s. I could spend evenings hanging at Crisanna’s pool, or on my own patio in a lounge chair reading a book. I could cook grown-up meals with herb-crusted chicken and asparagus or mac&cheese that didn’t involve shapes. It was a delirious month-long staycation, even though there was still work and responsibility. I still got to see Bee and Gracie for dinner two nights a week, and I still got to keep my weekends, and that was just enough time to enjoy fun summer activities, but take a break from each other so we could leap into each others’ arms and finish off the summer with gusto and renewed appreciation for one another’s company. And that’s just how it worked out.

But then this thing happened when my daughters morphed from little kids with all the trappings of early childhood (tantrums, stubbornness, grouchies, minds of their own, the Up And Down Bedtime Brigade, , vivid imaginations in the middle of the night, picky appetites…) into imaginative and delightful kids in the thick of middle childhood, and then Young Adults and burgeoning Actual People who I would be honored to call my friends. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m their mama, not their friend. I am not afraid to pull rank or put my foot down. I set the rules, and I expect them to be followed. Without fail. There are consequences for rule-breakage. And there are rewards when toes stay on the right side of the line. And for the most part, that’s how it goes, generally. I have good kids. Kids I enjoy spending time with. Kids I like watching – and discussing – movies with, or participating in readathons with, or going adventuring with. It’s fun! It’s not fun all the time, but enough of the times.

Enough of the time for me to feel it keenly this year. More this year than other years. Because my house is really empty this year. This year there is no boyfriend or boyfriend’s extremely willful kindergardner-who-acts-like-a-toddler. This year there is no puppy-dog to hang out with, or cuddle with, or talk to, or go on runs with. It was more than two years ago when I picked out the boyfriend, and more than three years ago when I adopted the puppy-dog, and that long ago the girls were still in the blossoming stages of middle childhood. Young enough that I still needed the break. Long enough ago that things were different.

And so July is passing by turtle slow. There are 90 minutes left before I’ll see the girls again and enjoy my mid-week sleepover. A week-and-a-half before my next weekend with them. Seventeen more sleeps before vacation. And after vacation, July will be over and I will have survived it for one more year! And, if my memory serves, almost immediately after that, there will some sort of incident that comes with an inevitable rock re-entry that will make me wish we were still back in July.

But that, like July, will pass. My girls will be home and all will be well.

All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.

Or, so I’ve been told.

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Wait – what month is it?

July 7, 2015

It didn’t dawn on me until last week, just as I was planning what we would do as a family the night of Bee’s birthday. The one that’s on June 30th. June. 30th. The last day of June. As in: the day before July.

July.

Every other year I have counted down until July. I’ve counted days, weeks, even counted down the months sometimes when my sanity was holding on by the tiniest of threads. I love my children and I have always loved having them in my house (yes, even when they were two and four and studiously woke me at 6 a.m. every weekend), but having that month off from the Up-and-Down Bedtime Brigade and Shower Monitor and Arbiter of Constant Arguments gave me a chance to recharge. To be me. To have five flippin’ minutes all to myself.

This year, though, I didn’t realize July was here until…well, until it was. Maybe it’s because this year I have 80 zillion other distractions going on in my life, most of them delightfully wonderful. Maybe it’s because this year we’re in the middle of a Wednesday-Night-at-Dad’s-House sleepover trial and so I get a taste of sanity every week. Mostly I think it’s that my girls are 11 and 9 and that’s a far cry from 4 and 2. (Or at least 11 and 9 sips on your sanity in very different – liveable! – ways.)

It’s not that I don’t love not having to wrangle two grumpy girls through a morning routine, or taking the “easy” way to work, or worrying about being home by a certain time. I still enjoy all of the freedom. It’s just a different sort of deep breath this year. Right now I’m not all BLAH!ing that a week is already gone; I’m sad that the girls won’t be home this weekend to play with Xander and make us laugh at their antics. I don’t know…I think this means 9 and 11 are my favorite ages yet. And that my kids are growing up into awesome people.

It’s certainly because I appreciate them more, that’s for dang sure.

So live it up, July. [Heh. I typed “love it up, July”, and that fits, too.] Knock yourself out. I won’t wish away the days. But my heart will be very happy when August rolls around and my girls are back, filling the empty spaces our family is certainly feeling.

Love charges back into the fray.

July 29, 2010

July is always a complicated month for me. It’s the time when the girls spend an extended visitation with their dad, which means basically that we flip flop our schedules of who has who when. I have the girls every other weekend, as always, and I get to see them for dinner two nights a week, but other than that – they’re at their dad’s house. No little kids for me to tuck in at night. No whiney faces to drag out of bed in the morning. It’s calm and quiet and…disturbingly still…at my house during July.

On one hand, I LOVE the freedom I enjoy during July. I like being able to go out at night to catch a movie or meet for happy hour or do whatever I need to do without watching the clock to make sure I’m home in time to meet the children. I love the quiet! During the really difficult times, I actually count down the days until July. When one kid is screaming because she doesn’t want waffles and the other is crying because no, she is NOT tired!, it’s hard to imagine that the break from day-to-day parenting could be anything less than blissful. And most of the time, it is blissful. It’s divine. It’s peaceful.

But then, the quiet sinks all the way into my bones and I miss the chaos. I miss the noise. I miss the laughter I would have heard just as often as the whining (even if that’s not how it seems in realtime). I miss just having Gracie and Bee around. As much as I enjoy being Katie for a month instead of Mom, my daughters are what make my world spin around.

Tonight is the last night of July visitation. Tomorrow I pick them up for my weekend and the clock will strike midnight while they’re home. Everyone will turn back into pumpkins, mice, and cinder-girls and all will be well. Part of me already misses uninterrupted time to myself…but I am ready to be Mom again. I know I love myself enough to make the most of my time away, and I love my girls enough to be impatient to get my brood back into the nest and into our routine again. Isn’t it lovely that we have so many chances throughout the year to feel like we’re starting fresh? Happy Love Thursday, everyone.