October 21, 2010

A Week of Change


It has been a long week.

Today is my Friday, and I am looking forward to the weekend even more than usual.

Forgive me if this post is a bit morose, but this week has been emotionally exhausting.

As you may have seen in my previous post, Steve's children's dog, Tick, died on Saturday night.

He was with the kids' mother (the kids and Steve were at my house), and ran off to chase a deer.

Somehow he must have got his leg stuck or caught while he was running...she took him to the vet and found that his leg was broken, and his hip joint shattered.

The surgery was going to be too expensive, so she had him put to sleep.

Of course, the kids were crushed.

Chris commented to Steve on Saturday night that it felt like his parents getting divorced all over again.

Monday came, and after over 7 hours in mediation with lawyers and social workers, Steve emerged with happy news:

He was awarded almost 50% custody, which means an additional 4 days a month during the school year, an extra 6 days a month over the summer from what he had! (let it be known, for the record, that he was actually awarded 50% custody by the Family Law attorney and social worker, but that she-who-must-not-be-named would not comply. In order to avoid a long and expensive court battle that would involve the kids having to testify, Steve settled for 44%)

The kids were ecstatic. This is what they have been begging for over the last year and a half.

I was ecstatic for them. It should have been 50%, but at least it was better than what they had together, which wasn't enough.

But everything that affects them, that affects Steve...it affects me too.

And suddenly that is 4 extra days a month (6 in the summer), that Steve is with the kids, and not with me.

And I can see them, sure.

I can hang out.

I can tag along.

I can pretend like it doesn't suck that I have to go home to an empty house and sleep alone.

I know that it will get better, eventually.

Sometimes I really appreciate the time to myself.

And I know that it's the best thing for the kids to be eased into our relationship, instead of having it forced on them.

I know they need time to get used to the situation. To get used to me.

So here I am...a largely selfish person, put into a situation which demands that I patient, giving, and above all things - selfless.

Talk about life lessons, all crammed into a very short amount of time.

I'm not perfect, and sometimes I pout. Sometimes I think, "What about me?" or "When is it going to be my turn?".

Sometimes I struggle so much that I want to walk away. Want to find a path of less resistance. Want to be taken care of. To be the 1st priority in Steve's life.

But then I wonder...is that really what I want?

Do I really want a partner who would sacrifice the needs of his children in order to take care of my every whim?

It's no secret that I am a princess.

But do I really want to be the kind of person that can't look beyond what she needs, in order to take care of others? And not just random strangers, but innocent kids that so obviously love and need their father.

It is a balance.

Just like with every relationship, it is a fragile, delicate balance.

I don't envy Steve, being in the middle. Trying to take care of 3 kids and a girlfriend that beg for his undivided time and attention whenever they can get it.

It's hard. For everyone.

Sometimes it flat out sucks.

But sometimes it seems totally worth it.

Like Tuesday night, when Katy asked if they could take Kempton home with them...I knew they were missing Tick, and I had yoga anyway, so I let them take him for the evening.

A win-win situation. The kids got to love a dog again, and Kempton got to be tortured by children (just kidding). 

Or last night, I went and helped them carve pumpkins.

Andy invited me to his birthday party.

Chris told me that when he went to see a therapist, he told her that he liked me.

Katy started telling me that she loved me, and last night she called me her friend.


Here are some pics from pumpkin carving last night:

Andy, with his almost finished pumpkin...


At this point Andy stole my camera and was taking random pictures. Chris had soccer practice so he got home late.

Andy's pic of the spaghetti that Steve made for us for dinner...

And finally, just as I was getting ready to leave, Katy decided she needed a nice long hug.

We still have a long way to go, but I feel like we are slowly moving forward. I wish that the kids didn't have to deal with any of it - the divorce, their dad having someone new in his life, their dog dying...I wish none of us did.

...but I feel like they are going to be ok.

And I think I am too.

1 comment:

  1. Wow honey, I don't have much to say other than you are all lucky to have each other. The kids are lucky to have Steve (and YOU) and you guys are lucky to have each other. Life is hard, that's the bottom line. I'll buy you a glass of wine soon.