Thursday, December 24, 2009

A New Twist on an Old Tradition

Not that many years ago, I wrote about how Prince Charming and I managed to survive the holiday shuffle.
This year, I find myself struggling to shuffle a new custody schedule not only with Cinderella but with my own Hansel & Gretel now as well.
Since unofficially separating this past summer, Prince Charming and I have tried to work out an alternating custody schedule with the kids. One that attempts to give each of us equal time with ALL THREE kids and also follows the visitation stipulation that's been in place for Cinderella and Maleficent since 2006.
Simply put: If Cinderella is home with Prince Charming, then so are Hansel and Gretel.
Our primary goal is to keep our kids together with each other as much as possible.
In some ways, it's made figuring out the current schedule with Hansel and Gretel rather easy since all we have to do is use Cinderella's as our template.
So weekends, holidays and birthdays are all sorted.
(See, there is some benefit to all of those hours and dollars being spent in court with Maleficent afterall!)
The downside is this year I will not be with the kids on Christmas morning. I get to spend some of Christmas Eve with them (because it's fallen on my normally scheduled day) until 6pm. And then Christmas Day will have Hansel and Gretel starting at 12 Noon. At that same time, Cinderella will go off to her Mom's for three days.
I will miss out on tucking the kids in and putting out cookies for Santa and food for the reindeer. Miss their eyes filled with wonder on Christmas morning when they come down and find their presents under the tree.
Tonight, I will be at my Mom's celebrating Christmas Eve dinner. Something we don't get to do very often but hope to do more of in the future. Before I go, I will help Cinderella assemble the baked french toast that has become part of our Christmas morning tradition. (Time I am looking forward to spending just with her, since I will not see much of her during this holiday break.) We will all then listen to 'Twas The Night Before Christmas with our animated Thomas Kinkade Story House before I leave.
Tomorrow morning I will awaken at my Mom's and open gifts with her. Something I haven't done in a long, long time. Before I was married. Before I was a Mom.
I will then head down to see Hansel and Gretel (hopefully catching Cinderella before she leaves), exchange some gifts with them before bringing them back to Grandma's for Christmas dinner. Something they have never done.
I'm determined to welcome these changes in my Christmas traditions with a positive attitude.
There are unexpected gifts hidden within them - though one Mom will be without her children's faces on Christmas morning, another Mom gets to relive Christmas memories with her first born daughter.
And later on create new memories with (two of) her grandkids.

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

Thursday, December 17, 2009


She has her eye on the prize.

So do I.
But my prize is better than any baked good.
It's my reason for getting out of bed every morning.
It offers me the knot onto which I can grab hold of, when I feel I have reached the end of my rope.
It offers me support, encouragement, advice and unconditional love. Reminds me of the happiness I have been missing.
It's my shelter from the storm, wind beneath my wings, light at the end of the tunnel and every nauseating cliche that comes with the newness and beauty of what's happening to me.
I deserve every morsel of it.
And if you are really, REALLY nice to me, I might share it with you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Kids...

... are doing alright. They've known about our pending divorce for about four months now.

I'm going to miss you.
Cinderella thought she would never see me again. He told her WITHOUT me. I wasn't there to reassure her and put it into words that will help her understand. Prince Charming denied me that chance for his own reasons and fucked it up in the process leaving me with a PHONE CALL to try and smooth things out with her.
Hansel and Gretel took it as well as any 7 and 4 year old can.
Gretel says she wants bunk beds in her new room at Mommy's house.
Hansel needed to know that he wasn't being left without a family.
"Your family isn't going anywhere. It's just changing. That's all. You still have a Mommy and a Daddy that love you."
I am finding comfort in the knowledge that they have seen divorce, custody and visitation in action with Cinderella and hoping that maybe... just MAYBE, it won't be as scary for them as it can be for other children.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Recycled Christmas Crafts: Light Bulb Ornament

Last year, I decided the Grinch needed the company of his faithful companion Max...

His ears are made out of brown felt. His antler, which is not as visible as I would have liked, is brown foam. His face was drawn on using a black Sharpie marker.
I didn't love the way he came out, which is why I did not make enough as gifts for family and friends, but he's cute enough to adorn my tree!

Friday, December 11, 2009

For My Own Edification

But you two always seemed so happy! Yeah, we did. On the outside. Isn't that always the case? Unhappy couples excel at hiding their pain and convincing the world that they are happy. And sometimes, they even manage to convince themselves that they are happy. At least this was the case in my marriage.
I convinced myself that I was happy enough. That it could always be worse.
Prince Charming convinced himself that we had worked through our troubles, when really we merely swept them under the rug.
We were simply going through the motions.
But the marriage was broken. Irreparable. And the unhappiness took over.
So much of that unhappiness can be seen on this blog, if you look close enough and get past the "Oh, she is just a bitter stepparent" stigma.
The simple truth is that Prince Charming and I both were not able to be the kind of partner that the other needed.
It didn't happen overnight.
It was years in the making.
Years of arguing. Pleading. Therapy. Followed by resignation.
And after many attempts no amount of King's horses or King's men could put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
It was my call. My words that started the process to ending our marriage.
He's hurt. He's angry.
I'm not paying for a lawyer. *I* am NOT paying for another lawyer.
I can understand that. We've lost a fuckton of money to lawyers over the past 13 years.
So we agreed going the route of a mediator instead. Determined to show our kids that parents can get divorced without it turning ugly and nasty. (Cinderella is our biggest motivator. She has seen more ugly and nasty than necessary.)
But even a mediator has proven to great for our budget.
We've tried to remain friendly but with so much raw emotion that has proven difficult, if not impossible, especially on his end.
Words go unspoken, emails unanswered, face-to-face dealing are awkward and hostile.
Feelings and opinions are repressed and replaced by passive-aggressive behaviors or pissy texts.
So now we are in this limbo - splitting our time between the (rental) home we tried building with the kids and our respective corners the rest of the time.
There are so many parallels to his divorce with Maleficent it's scary. But when you consider the one common denominator in both of these situations, it's not that surprising. And quite frankly, it has me feeling a bit defeated for we all know how long things have dragged on with them.
I don't know when or how things will move forward.
In the meantime, I am part-time Mom, part-time single gal trying to move on, get my groove back, rediscover who I am and learn how to be happy.
I believe we both deserve that.