I remember when I was getting divorced. Seems like yesterday…..Anyway. My gut would wrench at the thought of Emma Kelly having to leave me every other weekend and every other holiday. I wondered how I was going to be able to handle the emptiness that I would face over and over again for years to come. And the first time I strapped my baby into the car seat of her daddy’s car, I got choked up as they pulled away. I wondered what she was thinking. Did she feel like I was abandoning her? Oh, the guilt of being a divorced parent…How could I do this to my child?? How could I do this to ME???
But then there came the day when I found myself standing at my front door, checking my watch every 30 seconds because Emma Kelly was on my very last nerve and her daddy was 15 minutes late picking her up. Then I just felt guilty about being relieved of responsibility for the weekend. That guilt didn’t last too long because……..I had time to clean the house! I had time to run errands! I could watch a TV show that I wanted to watch! I could go out to eat with grownups! At grownup restaurants! That two-day toddler reprieve was pretty awesome.
But now I’m back to the point where when she’s gone, I really, REALLY miss my kid. Yes, she has her aggravating ways, but Emma Kelly is one big ball of squishy love right now. All she wants to do is draw pictures for me, showing me how much she loves me. She wants to nestle up under me and have me rock her like I did when she was a baby. It’s just one big love fest — until I yell at her to get in the bathtub for the umpteenth time, but other than that…..
So Emma Kelly’s daddy picked her up from school on Friday, which meant I didn’t get to see her past bedtime on Thursday. By Saturday, I was a mess. Everything was stacked against me. First, there was a storm — a gloomy, doomy storm that kept the skies gray all day so that you never knew what time of day it was. It’s like the clouds covered my house in a cloak of sadness….Dramatic much? And when plans with three separate groups of people failed to materialize, I ended up staying home all day. Alone. In my underwear. Unbathed. Eating nothing but stale Cheerios and microwave popcorn, Alzheimer’s threat be damned!
And when EK finally came home to me on Sunday, she could’ve probably set the house on fire and I wouldn’t have been too terribly upset with her. She did, however, manage to get glue all over my coffee table. But hey! She was making a picture for me and wanted it to be perfect. I can scrape the glue off later. Or I could just leave it. Because one day my daughter won’t want to make ooey, gluey pictures for her mommy anymore because she’ll be too busy hating me. Those teenage years will be here before I know it, right? And then I’ll probably find myself standing at the front door again, checking my watch every 30 seconds because her daddy’s 15 minutes late picking her up.