I both relish and despise the weekends my ex has the kids. On the one hand it’s exhilarating to have hours to myself—to freelance, to watch movies, to take baths. I can go shopping, without a cart, and meander the store looking at things—me-things. Body wash, jewelry, handbags, magazines. And then it gets late and I start to ache, wondering what my children are doing, if they’re having fun, and how much of their lives I’ve just missed.
Kaleb has another loose tooth—will that go under a pillow at our house or his Dad’s? What profound questions will Leah ask that I won’t be there to answer? And what of Zack and his potty training—will he finally get it when he’s not with me? They are my children, flesh of my flesh, and I’m sharing them like luxury vehicles, piecing out moments of their lives like poker chips. And I wonder how they feel about this, passed between my ex and I without thought or question of what they want, of how they would like to spend their time.
If you asked them they would probably tell you that all they want is for their parents to move back together, to share a home so they don’t have to be ported back and forth between us. Because, really, who’s it for, them or us? Are we divvying out their lives because it’s the best for all involved?
So on this Saturday night, when darkness makes every burden a little heavier, I’m deciding that it’s childhood compromised, a sad tug of war between two adults greedy for their children.
And to be completely honest, I’m feeling especially greedy right now…