A few days ago marks four years since my ex moved out of the house.
“Just you wait,” he said, “You’ll miss how much I do around here.”
What we missed:
1) No swearing in the mornings.
2) No breaking toys or plates or dishes or throwing remote controls or balls at bookshelves.
3) No screaming at the children, until they cried so hard they threw up.
4) No flicks to the head, while happily eating cereal at the dinner table and watching cartoons, simply because he was in a bad mood.
5) No shoving or kicking or pushing or yelling.
6) No freezing at the table when one of the girls dropped a grain of rice on the floor, waiting to see what he would do.
7) No choking the dog and throwing him across the room (I found a new home for our dog just a few months prior to his departure.)
8) No threats to murder us in our sleep or put a bullet through our head.
The list could go on. And on. Yet as time has marched on, the memories have faded, but I think I’ll always remember the calm in the house in the aftermath of his departure. I thought I’d freak out, overwhelmed by doing it alone, but aside from taking the trash out once in a while, I realized I’d been doing everything anyway. He would help with the morning drop-offs—but it was actually more peaceful to wake up all together. Sure the girls and I had to get up a little earlier, but what a small price to pay.
That's the beginning of my article that I submitted to DivorcedMoms.com--I hope they accept it! But in the mean time, I'm taking the time to celebrate--yes celebrate the progress we've made since that time. Since that life from before, it's like a shadow that I can sometimes remember with perfect clarity, if I'm having a PTSD moment, and other times, like a foggy dream.
So these days, I like to think about:
1) DD1 asking me to buy a matching skirt when we went back to school shopping (swoon!) and thanking Old Navy for providing a kids' XL size, so I could do it. Then cuddling up with her to take a picture outside of our house. (double swoon!)
2) DD2 cackling and laughing and cuddling in the pre-school rocking chair in the mornings, so excited to feed the school aquarium fish, before I have to leave her and come to work.
3) Swaying with DD1 and DD2 in the ocean water, as we wade (well I wade, they are floating on body boards) to an island bird sanctuary, where the birds make their nests in the ground, free from any threat of snakes. And DD1 and DD2 oohing and ahhing at the sight of a baby bird peeking out, and the feathers of a mama bird guarding said baby.
4) Our puppy G, peeking in from outside when we’re eating dinner that Hubby had made, and the girls laughing at Hubby’s story about how the chicken lit on fire in the grill, and G let him know by running to the other side of the yard and looking at him like, “excuse me, you need to take care of that!”
5) DD1 taking one bite of Hubby’s macaroni and cheese and knowing right away that something doesn’t “taste right,” and all of us laughing (including Hubby) because no matter how many times he makes it, it doesn’t taste like mom’s!
6) Seeing DD1 and DD2 hold hands when walking across lava rocks.
7) DD2 telling me she can't wait to start kindergarten.
8) Hubby and me, working through our challenges to make it work.
9) Lazy week end mornings, when one or both girls climb into bed with me for a snuggle.
The list could go on. And on. And it does.