Polka dots, plaid, and hygiene…

I haven’t written in quite some time. (Well, not anything I would publish anyway.)  I have felt uninspired. I’ve sat down numerous times and attempted, but nothing happens. Until now.

The kids are all back east and I am not. Cameron and Cassandra were so excited to see their dad and we had a countdown going for about two weeks before they left. My countdown was probably a little different from theirs.

Thirteen days until we see daddy…thirteen days until you don’t brush your teeth for two months.

Twelve days til we see daddy…twelve days til swimming in the pond counts as a bath.

Eleven days til we see daddy…eleven days til you wear the same socks for three days straight.

Ten days til we see daddy…ten days til you probably don’t travel in a booster seat.

You get the picture. It’s not easy letting them go. I spent seven years with their dad and was very proud of the home I created. The kids had fun. The house was well decorated, their clothes matched, and I have many memories of fabulous holidays and parties, and quiet nights of game playing and movie watching. And then we got divorced.

This past weekend I was back home. (By home I mean CT, I really don’t have a home. I’m always in limbo.) I stayed at George’s, a home that is not mine but houses some of my furniture and boxes of clothes. I drove my mother’s car and made my way back to Killingworth to see the boys my first afternoon there. If you’ve read my posts before you’ll recall my ex husbands live eight houses away from each other. I moved 4000 miles away. After some alone time with the big boys we stopped by the “big” house to see the twins, partially because I missed them, partially because I wanted to see if Cassie’s hair had been done in the two weeks since I put them on the plane with Andy to leave Alaska.

As I pulled onto the street my heart rate soared and the anxiety crept in. I used to love turning onto this street. It meant I was home. Now, I start hyperventilating and want to close my eyes. The yard is always a mess, there is mildew on the siding, and my once beautiful house is unkempt. In the driveway there are four old cars…not sure who they belong to…and I’m pretty sure I saw a spare tire, some garbage, and possibly a small boat in the backyard. I won’t even begin to describe the garage. (It also houses some of my furniture.)

Her hair had not been done. The same two poofs I had carefully crafted the day before she left were still there. He had hastily thrown in a couple of clips to keep down some of the loose pieces, but I knew it was just for show. My prized dresser is now a sofa table with scratches, the former office/quiet room is now a bar/storage room, and the brown and orange shag rug that should be under the kitchen table is under the table in my once beautiful purple dining room. (I think the purple rug that belongs there is in the basement somewhere.) I didn’t dare venture upstairs because Aidan told me I shouldn’t.

The kids were happy. Isn’t that what matters? They had new shoes and chatted about going out on their dad’s girlfriend’s boat. They hugged me and went back to watching tv while Andy talked about putting the house up for sale. (If you’re looking for a six bedroom house on a quiet cul-de-sac in the woods, let me know.) I asked him if he had conditioner and a comb.

This is not how I pictured my life. I think divorced parents everywhere go through this. It’s so hard to hand your children off to the other parent and have to trust them to do the right things and make the right choices. I have several proven circumstances where the twins’ dad has not, but I know his intentions are good. I try to be firm, yet not stir the pot, but it’s getting harder to hold back. When I brought the kids back to him on Monday I reminded him to please get her hair braided. Today, he sent photos and her hair is how I left it. On the phone he said he planned on getting it done next…what day is today? Monday, no Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. Ugh.

But, she had glasses on in the picture. I didn’t ask him to take her to the eye doctor. He said this week she had headaches and was squinting at the tv, so he took the twins and she needed glasses and Cameron does not. Next week he’s taking them to the dentist. I’ll try not to think about the fact that they’ll be wearing plaid shorts, polka-dotted shirts, and striped socks when they are out in public and just be happy they’re being cared for by a man they love very much.

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