Two pretty incredible things happened for me today. So, even though I just realized that I am not going to get paid until next week, this is an absolute milestone day for me for two reasons….the first being my failure to run to the phone to text a “Happy Birthday” to my ex-husband, and the second being that I held a brand new baby, well 3 months old, and I was ready to pass her back almost as soon as she got comfy with her head an my shoulder and her fist wrapped in a tangle of hair.
While these might not sound monumental, trust me, they are.
Since my divorce several years ago, I have never missed a birthday. It may sound strange, but I actually continued to wish him a happy day. I don’t know why. Am I THAT nice? Nope, not really… I think it might be more out of fear.
Knowing that nothing would actually happy if I failed to wish him a happy day, it makes no sense other than emotionally. Wishing him a happy day was an extension of the manners I wanted my kids to have, as well as the way I wanted him to think about me as our relationship ended. Hey guys, it is daddy’s birthday today. Even though he no longer matters to me, I wished him a happy day! You should do the same. These were the feelings I wanted to share with them.
I wanted to show him that I raised them well enough to remember that today is his birthday, so they remembered to say “Hey Dad! Happy Birthday, you forgetful piece of shit”. Darn, that’s not really it either.
I knew it was something, but that really wasn’t it.
In all honesty… in complete honesty, I continued to wish him a happy birthday in order to let him know that I am casual enough in my feelings for him, that I am able to wish him good wishes without bursting into tears. I have moved on. I wish him well. I am not casually forgetting, and hoping that he notices that I have forgotten.
Until today, I carried that with me. I drove myself nuts, thinking in circles.
When I woke up today, and looked at the calendar to see the date, I realized that I don’t care. I don’t care if he has a good day. I don’t care if he cares if I care about his day. I don’t even care about thinking what he cares about. I simply DON’T CARE. I don’t wish him bad. I don’t wish him good. I wish him just enough good to be able to keep working and paying my child support.
Other than those feelings, I just don’t care. The realization of that lack of caring was very liberating.
Another liberating sensation today, was the absolutely amazing feeling that I did NOT get when I held a co-worker’s baby today.
Ooooh, gimme, let me hold her…. Sniff in her neck…. Yep, baby smell… all good, but I am very happy to pass her back. I Have the extreme luxury of wearing a brand new blouse, an expensive enough blouse that I don’t really want baby drool on it. I am happily past that stage of my life. I can buy dry cleanables if I want.
If someone had asked me what my response would have been, I might have said that I would give up a lot to go back to that stage in my life. Life was easy then. When I said that, I wasn’t being honest with myself. I saw the other women oooh and aaaah. I experienced none of those feelings; they are long gone.
Life certainly is not easy now; it’s just different.
Holding a baby that is not my own is no longer a thrill. I welcome being at a different stage in my life, even if I am still searching for what makes me happy.
It is a selfish time, and I think that’s OK.
So, trivial as my day may seem to others, I am not going to wish my ex-husband a happy birthday, and I am no longer mourning the fact that I will never have another child.
It’s OK. Different, and completely OK.
It is indeed My Time.