A few weeks ago, Jay and I had a standard parent conference with one of the kids’ teachers. When it was done, Jay left ahead of me and the teacher pulled me aside.
(If you’re new here, Jay is the father to my 3 insane children).
Awkwardly, she broached the topic of our family life: “Are you?… I, um. I heard that you aren’t together anymore? Is this true?”
I confirmed, that yes, she was correct. She looked baffled for a minute and then said that she was surprised to hear this because we seemed to get along well and that the kids are doing well. Then she kind of congratulated me and I left, now the one feeling a little awkward.
Did she just congratulate me on not being a bitch?
People get divorced all the time. I get it. Did I think I’d ever get divorced? No, of course not. You don’t get married expecting it not to be permanent. At least, I didn’t. I fully expected to emulate my parents, married for a billion years.
Yet, here we are!
The kids are currently on their way to California for March break without me. They’ll be getting some quality Dad time, doing things his way without my interference and hovering.
But! Guess what? I’m flying down as a surprise to join them and spend a few days all together.
Fear not, I’m not ruining my own surprise. My kids don’t read this. They don’t even know what a dumb blog is, anyway. Maybe one day they’ll find it and be sooooo embarrassed, mooooom.
We’re going to spend a few days over spring break doing kid and family stuff. Together.
And you know what? I’m super excited.
Has life been as I planned it? Hell no. Is it easy? Also, no. Since we separated, I’ve experienced, in various forms: rage, anger, sadness, frustration, elation, joy, disbelief, and every single emotion in between. It continues to be a terrifying roller coaster.
But now, in its current iteration, our family ‘format’ works. Is that to say it’s perfect?
Of course not.
Does it change all the time?
Do we know what we’re doing?
Nope, not really. Isn’t that what parenting is, anyway? Winging it?
Do people judge me/us and question what we’re doing?
And so what.
I’m really good at being self deprecating, but this is one of those times that I can say how proud I am of how far we’ve come.
Our kids are happy, healthy. Normal. They love us, we love them. We’re in this together, like it or not. There’s days where we like it, days we don’t.
But we move forward.
In our own, weird, modern family way.