This is the first weekend that my boys are going to stay with my ex…for an entire weekend. At least, that’s the expectation.
And honestly, I want them to want to go and hang out with their dad. To do cool things that only a dad can make happen, especially with boys. I want them to be excited to see him and to have his full attention for an entire weekend.
Plus, I would love to have the divorce ‘perk’ of having weekends to myself…what mom wouldn’t?!
But I know that it’s not like that. And it may never be that way.
I know that they haven’t missed a thing, over the last year, while he made himself mostly unavailable to them every weekend. They kept count of the hours that he “put in”, it didn’t go unnoticed. I know that they are rocked to their core over the changes that he has forced upon us all – his long term girlfriend moving into our house to eventually be his wife, without any introduction or warning, kind of changes. I know that they don’t really trust him to think of how they feel, or care what they want. on a weekend or otherwise. He hasn’t so far, why expect anything different?
I know that I should let it go and let it play out. Let them discover who he really is.
But, I can’t.
I worry too much, I think too much, I hurt too much for everyone else. I want to protect them, to make it better, to take away the pain and the hurt.
But I can’t.
I wanted it to play out the way that we had agreed upon, with the normal divorce expectations, the slow build up to leading separate lives and bringing in new players, but that hasn’t happened. I wanted our kids to get used to a new normal first, to feel safe and protected by both of their parents wanting only what’s best for them, but that hasn’t happened.
I want him to be better than he is right now. I want him to think of someone else, other than himself – or his new cool life – and to see how he’s trampling on their feelings and trust. I want him to realize that he’s the reason that they don’t feel safe to trust him, and it’s nothing that I did or said, it’s his actions or lack of that are holding them back. I want him to know that he created this divide between himself and his boys.
But I can’t.
I can’t change who he is, I can’t rewrite the script. I can’t make him more accountable. I can’t make him a better dad. I can’t turn back the hands of time and get a do-over, not that that would help.
I can’t change it. I can’t change him.
This is new territory for all of us, new territory that we didn’t expect to have to traverse. We are winding our way along a path with too many forks, too many hills, and all the while we are hoping that we will come to a flat meadow full of peace and promise, and finally be able to relax. We are thirsty, tired and frustrated. And we want it to be over. I want to get to that place for all of us, to make it better, carry the burden to save them the heartache and disappointment.
But I can’t.