When They’re Away

My kids are out of town with their dad right now. This is one of the side-effects of divorce:  whether you want to or not, you will inevitably spend forced time away from your kids. I know of some parents who, post-divorce, don’t spend any time at all with their children, so the fact that my ex is involved to varying degrees with our kids is a positive thing. For me, having them gone is mixed bag.

I do the majority of the parenting. While I really wouldn’t have it any other way, there’s a reason why it takes two people to create life – having two people to sustain and raise that life makes it a thousand time easier. So when it’s time for our son to go for his weekends with his dad, it’s a nice break for me. And when our daughter joins the two of them on periodic out-of-town excursions, I get a few days to myself.

I typically look forward to that alone time. I make plans in my head and sometimes in reality. I try to do all the things that are easier to do when I’m not being a mom. It gives me the chance to take stock of myself, my individuality, and who I am besides “Mommy.” It’s a good thing, overall. It’s also good for them to spend time with their dad. My daughter, in particular, spends very little time with him, so for them to be together is positive and healthy.

Sitting in my quiet house, though, I miss my kids. I miss my son’s incessant questions and trips to the kitchen for snacks. I miss my daughter’s impromptu history lessons and recounts of her day as I cook dinner. I miss driving them both all over God’s green earth. I miss knowing they’re sleeping peacefully in their rooms as I read myself to sleep. I just miss them.

But if they didn’t go, I wouldn’t have that opportunity. I might be writing about how they’re driving me crazy instead. Their absence creates space for me TO miss them. And it reminds me that life is short, and you’ve gotta love the people who are in your life WHILE they’re in your life.

Even – and maybe especially – when they’re away from you.

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