End of the school year! Yay! I am so happy for the peace that summer brings. I am working hard on my goals for myself. I have had a few set backs, but I am focused and feel strong. I am ready for all the end of the year activities of which I am to be a part.
For my daughter, her love is dance. The recital is a very big deal in her life, and the school which she attends has very specific ways that they do things. For example, we do two rehearsals before the event; one in black and the other in costume and make up. I feel very lucky to be one of the parents who helps with the shows, year after year. I have access to my daughter and her friends and am ever prepared with bobby pins and safety pins. I do buns, and apply make up. I fix hems and un-knot shoes. I help the little ones put on their costumes, and tend to the emotions of the older girls who panic about a showing bra strap, or a falling bun. I AM EVERYMOM.
I sweat like the dancers themselves and all to be close to my baby for as long as she wants me to be there.
Every year, she asks. Are you helping at the shows? Yes, baby, of course. I will be there if you want me to be there.
The day has finally come. Rehearsals start today, so I rush to complete my work for the day. Wishing that I had a few more arms to finish up the packing and my work, my phone rings.
It is my first husband’s wife.
<< banging head on desk>>
“Hey Virginia, I am so sorry to bother you, but I locked myself out of the house and the car, and I have to get to the dance rehearsal. Can we please have a ride?”
Here is a little background. This girl who “could not have children” managed to get pregnant. My EX sees no problem with placing this child in the same dance school, or the same camp that my daughter attends. I have expressed my feelings to him. I have told him that it is bad enough that we live so close, is it not possible that he lets me have my own space? Feeling like the Ewings on Southfork Ranch elicited not one smirk from him.
“Of Course, you can have a ride! We are going to the same place anyway!!!”
I WILL BE THERE IN THREE MINUTES BECAUSE WE LIVE SO F’IN CLOSE BECAUSE YOUR HUSBAND, WHO USED TO BE MY HUSBAND DID NOT THINK THAT THIS MIGHT NOT MAKE ME HAPPY.
Why did I agree? Was there nothing I could have said? Did I respond in fear of his retribution? Am I really worried that she might call me a bitch? Was I hoping to have her think to herself how could he have left this wonderful woman? I don’t know what I was thinking, but in genuine honesty, I think it was all of the above.
Running back to apply a second coat of lipstick, I venture out to take a 25 minute ride with my ex-husband’s wife and child. Nope, nothing awkward there.
Once strapped in the car, I glance back to look at this child who is now about 3. Seeing fading visions of my ex-husband in her face, and trying to avoid any resemblance that might exist to my own kids, I blink back a few tears, hoping desperately that she doesn’t see.
She thanks me as she gets in my car, and I say, No Worries, as the neighbors stare on in wonder at the new BFFs going for a ride.
Small talk and time passes…. she fumbles for tissues in her bag for her daughter who is eating chips and messing up the back seat of the car. No worries, again, handing her a box of tissues.
Knowing that I will need those tissues far more than the dirty little girl in my back seat, I reserve a few for my pocket.
Life goes on. I am angry with myself for my decision, and am still wondering if I taught my own daughter good behavior or something else. Might teaching her how to say NO to something that makes you uncomfortable have been a better lesson?
Bberry Wine says
“Life goes on. I am angry with myself for my decision, and am still wondering if I taught my own daughter good behavior or something else. Might teaching her how to say NO to something that makes you uncomfortable have been a better lesson?”
I can relate in so many ways. While my ex is not remarried, he prefers to be in some kind of a relationship with married women who have children. Married women who still reside in the home with their spouses and when drama hits the fan for whatever reason, the children of those women call mine and beg to please come spend the night at my home. Why do I say yes? I have wrestled with this and concluded I say yes because I care about children in general, I believe in Karma and hope someone would provide a safe place for my children if god forbid they ever needed one. So this kids come to my home and I welcome them. Is it awkward? Yes. Particularly so when their moms ask my teenage daughter if they can borrow some of my clothes…. I put my foot down and said no. 🙂
I think you care about peace, the little girl involved (she can’t change who her parents are) and ultimately you are setting a great example for your children. I’m sure you say no at times, I’m certain you teach her that strong women evaluate things and make the decisions that are best for everyone and you certainly are teaching her that even when things are awkward you can still be a lady.
More power to you!
Virginia Masters says
Thank you so much for your comments! It is indeed comforting to know that we are not alone. Although I feel that I might explode some day, I continue to think about my own behavior as a model for my kids. It sure is not easy, but like you, I have to keep the big picture in focus.
Keep on reading!