exploring life and love with pictures and words

Family ties . . .

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My mom and I sit on her living room sofa. My son lay on a rug near our feet, first on his side and then rolling onto his back. He looks up at the ceiling with tears in his eyes, his voice cracks as he asks, When will my dad live in our house again? My mom sighs, I know she is praying I will change my mind, but I will not. Without hesitation I respond, he won’t, he won’t ever live in our house again. My words are cold, and though I have tried to remember a kinder, more compassionate version of this story, I cannot because it doesn’t exist, a definite low point in my parenting, a moment I can never undo.

Weeks earlier, my little girl walks into the master bathroom, to find me sitting with my face in my hands, as her dad leans against the bathroom counter, both of us crying as we discuss the details of his moving. She looks at us through the smudgy lenses of her little pink bifocals, thoughtfully cocks her head, and she cries too, knowing her life is changing.

My kids were eight and seven years old when their dad and I separated. I was twenty-six. I had no idea what I wanted, but I knew I no longer wanted to be married. I behaved in ways that damaged our marriage beyond repair, ensuring its eventual end. We had been together for over 12 years.

After my husband moved out and divorce was inevitable, he still came to the house nearly every evening to kiss his kids goodnight, lay in their beds with them, and sometimes fall asleep. He had regular visitation, but I never put any limits on when he could come and see his children, never. We had Thanksgiving together, he came on Christmas morning, Easter Sunday and every single birthday party, sometimes with a date, and that was okay too. He was welcomed by me, my friends and my entire family. This was our normal.

This arrangement wasn’t always convenient for me; it required planning, compromise, and kindness when, quite honestly, I didn’t feel like being kind at all. But I did it because it seemed best for my kids; they loved to be with their dad and to see the two of us happy together though we were no longer married. We still get together as a family to this day.

These old memories are heavy on my heart these days as my daughter and her husband are now separated, soon to be divorced. I am sad for my girl, for her husband and my grandson, Luca. This is hard for all of them. It’s hard for me to watch. I see changes in Luca’s behavior, and his little spirit seems wounded at times. He tries his best to make sense of his new world. He asks his mama, I will sleep with you the next day and the next day, and the next day?, understanding that he will sleep at daddy’s on the other days. He asks so many questions, and his mama answers everyone one so patiently, reassuring Luca that he is loved by his mommy and daddy even if they live apart.

Today is Luca’s birthday. He is four years old. Mommy, daddy and Luca are spending the day together, as a family, to celebrate. Luca is a boy who loves family, who loves having his family together. Imagine his happiness. Imagine my happiness just knowing his little heart is full.

My wish for Luca is that birthdays, holidays, and childhood milestones are family days with his mommy and daddy and that he never doubts their love and commitment to raising him together.

I remember the day my daughter and her husband told me she was pregnant. They were pretty nervous about becoming parents. I remember telling them, Your baby is your number one priority and from here on out every decision you make is based on what is best for that baby.

I didn’t always make my children the priority. . . and at times I feel great regret . . . but I am grateful for my penance . . .loving, and looking out for, a little guy named Luca.

xoc

16 Responses to “Family ties . . .”

  1. messupdressup03

    Well first, you have a beautiful baby ❤
    Second, life’s a journey. . Cherish it 😊
    God bless you darling!
    Happy to connect! Do check out my writings too, will appreciate your reviews 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. momwhearingloss

    Great post. Divorce no matter how you slice it is hard on the kids. My parents divorced when I was right and I still carry some of those memories today. It was a nasty divorce with all kinds of limitation meant to punish my father nut in the end the children paid.

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  3. jennyrecorder

    I don’t know if my marriage will survive much longer, it’s been hanging by a thread for years. We still love each other, but I don’t think it is enough for either of us- there is little joy and much sadness. However,, I always knew I would wait until my children were older, my daughter turns 18 and my son 22 next birthdays- hopefully they will cope if the end is inevitable.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Bare Naked in Public

      Divorce is hard on kids no matter the age. I wish you strength as you make a most difficult decision and peace in your heart. Something I learned about my adult children . . . They want me to be happy too. Take care ❌⭕️

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  4. Lala

    I was there for it, I’ve been through my own, and I’m watching it happen to my best friend. My heart breaks. But, because of my own experience I can safely say it gets easier. Certain people are brought together for reasons we cannot, or perhaps are not really supposed to, understand. They happen because they are necessary. And we grow. There are many lessons being gained. The path is going to seem awful at times, difficult and even impossible… until it’s not. Suddenly a more beautiful existence begins to shine through. Something better that was waiting for us, for that growth that we needed in order to see it. Luca will know happiness, love and understanding. His mommy is going to make sure of that. She loves him more than herself, and that’s where everything beautiful happens. Thank you for this story. I cried at the memories, and yet my heart yearns for the good that I know grows out of so much pain. It is coming. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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    • Bare Naked in Public

      Beautiful and heartfelt words. I believe in every word you have written. O guess we all wished we could have a pass on painful experiences. But then we would never know happiness. Growth is hard work but as you say something better awaits. Thank you for stopping by to read and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your thoughtful words. Xo

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  5. calensariel

    You told your story with great sensitivity, and I must say I was really impressed with the way you and your ex handled your life together/apart in the aftermath. If divorce is inevitable, the way you two lived it out was exemplary. And just maybe it was your training ground for paving the way to help Luca survive and thrive in such a similar environment. Would it have been better if it had never happened? Maybe, maybe not. Had you stayed together there might have been even more damage to your kids. I’m watching that happen to a friend of mine who refuses to have her kids come from a broken home. But at what cost. We can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have. You did, girlfriend. I admire that very much. {{{BNiP}}}

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    • Bare Naked in Public

      No matter our choices they all have consequences. I imagine sometimes my kids wonder why we just didn’t stay together. I can say I did the best that I could given the state of my mind and my heart at the time. Thanks for stopping by to read and sharing your insight. ❤️❤️❤️

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  6. Phyllis Graves

    Poignant to reread the story, C. Knowing that its been a year since you wrote it helps, because I’ve seen you leap and bound within a huge growth spurt this year. Love you.

    Liked by 1 person

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