Most days, I go with the flow, looking at the bright side of things because, let’s face it, it’s way more fun to laugh than to dissolve into a puddle of tears, right?
And then there are days like today.
My ex has started showing up at my kids’ baseball/softball/hockey games lately. Not all of them; just now and then. He doesn’t stay for the whole game; just stops by and puts in an appearance. It’s a Hey, look at me, I’m a dad! act. Perhaps he’s only allowed to stay for half an hour because his dad drives him to the kids’ games and I’m pretty sure his dad doesn’t want to stick around that long. He doesn’t get out of his truck and say so much as say hi to his grandkids so I can understand his boredom. Then again, he really didn’t talk to or interact with my kids before the divorce either. But my ex has to be driven by his parents because after you’ve gotten three DUIs, the state doesn’t generally let you keep your license.
Anyway, my ex doesn’t sit in the bleachers and watch with the rest of the parents. Nope, he walks onto the field as if he’s a coach and proceeds to shout instructions to my kids. My kids have always hated that even back when we were married. It embarrasses them and makes them lose their concentration. When they complain to me about this, I suggest they ask their dad to stop making comments, but they won’t say boo to him. I understand why they don’t talk to him, but I feel bad being stuck in the middle, unable to get their dad to listen to anything.
Now, every time my ex crawls out from under his rock and sees Jackson, Jackson’s temper comes back in full swing. Jackson had been doing wonderfully since getting out of the hospital. He hadn’t seen Joe and hadn’t talked to him on the phone and things were going really well. Today, after one of Joe’s Let me stop by and pretend to be a dad for half an hour visits, Jackson came home, picked a fight with Lexi for no apparent reason, punched her, broke his drumsticks, and put a hole in his bedroom wall.
I lost it. I was beyond angry. For one thing, it’s taken me a LOT of hard work to get this house ready to sell. I don’t want to patch any more holes! But it mostly made me angry because I’m here every day! I’m the one taking care of him! I’m the one paying for everything! I’m the one making sure he does his homework! I’m the one shopping for his needs! I’m the one making dinner! I’m the one doing everything! Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I like taking care of my kids. In fact, it’s my favorite thing in the world! And I’d certainly rather be doing everything on my own than to be dealing with my ex’s issues. However, it makes me so mad when my ex swoops in without a care or responsibility in the world, and I have to deal with the ensuing fallout. I have to take the brunt of Jackson’s anger; the anger the only comes out when he has contact with his dad. It’s not fair to me and it’s certainly not fair to Jackson.
He cried. I cried. Then we took big, deep breaths.
After talking with Jackson, he settled down and went to bed. That’s when I started painting the ceiling. My living room ceiling is connected to the hallway which is connected to the dining room which is connected to the kitchen. I had to paint it all at once. It was the last thing on my list and I’d been putting it off because I hate painting more than I hate Vegemite, if that’s possible. However, my realtor called today to set up a showing for tomorrow, so I wanted to get it done before then. Just as I was finishing up and looking forward to showering the paint out of my hair and resting my aching neck, back, and shoulders, Savannah broke down and cried. And cried. And cried.
She’d taken the fact that she needed surgery so well, but it all hit her today. She went without sports for SIX months last year because of her knee surgery. That’s a long time for an athlete. She spent months on crutches. She spent even more time in pain. And now she’s having to do it all over again just one year later. And she knows that this isn’t even the end of it. She knows she’ll need at least one more reconstructive surgery. She’s angry. She’s in pain. And it isn’t fair. It just isn’t fair.
I want to end this post on a high note because that’s what I do. I find the funny. I’m good at seeing the lighter side. But I’m also human and right now, at 2:00 in the morning, I’m not finding the funny. I want my ex to crawl back under his rock. I want Jackson to get back to that place where he’d moved on and was doing well. I want to take away Savannah’s pain and make her knee all magically better. I guess what I really want is some sleep so I can wake up in the right frame of mind once more.
Want to read more from Dawn? Whether you’re thinking about having kids, you’re pregnant now, or you’ve ever been pregnant, you’ll love her popular, You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and Other Lies About Pregnancy and Childbirth)!