Kendall and I divorced in May of 2012. Because of our unique situation, we have remained roommates and co-parents since then.
Not long after our divorce, Kendall met the love of his life, Valerie. They've been together ever since. She is a beautiful, caring, supportive and understanding woman. Because of her own unique situation, she is able to fully accept ours. Her and her ex-husband have been divorced one week less than Kendall and I, because her ex-H is gay as well.
Kendall and Valerie are getting married on August 10th... just two short weeks from now. Although Kendall and I haven't been married for more than a year, we've remained in the same home and everything has looked fairly close to what it looked like when we were actually still married. It's going to be excruciating to watch him go, although I couldn't be happier at the same time.
My schedule at work is 2-10 pm Monday - Friday, which has made it nearly impossible to see my children this summer (they stay up all night and sleep all morning). Now that school is quickly approaching, we've been faced with the difficult decision of what to do with our kids once it begins. I work about 45 minutes from here and I don't get home until about 11 each night. Once school starts, this will not be good for my boys.
Here is the new plan (which tears my heart apart)...
August 4-15, Kendall takes my boys, Valerie, and her four kids on vacation.
August 9th: Keni, my ex-mother-in-law and I will leave for the same area.
August 10th: Wedding on the beach for the sweet couple.
August 15th: Kendall and his new family (with my boys) come home.
August 17th: Kendall, the boys and I drop my daughter off at college.
August 18th or just after: My boys move into their dad's new house (30 minutes away).
(August 18th or just after: I live completely alone)
August 21st: My 10th grader starts school.
August 22nd: My 5th grader starts school.
We are trying to clear our house of 20 years worth of collecting so we can sell it and I can be on my way. The sooner I can move into their area, the sooner I can be with my boys. I can't do anything at this point about my work schedule, but the closer I am to the boys, the more minutes I can steal with them. The second my work schedule changes, I will bring my boys home (where ever in the heck that will be!).
Although we've been making baby steps in our marriage and family for several years, and I've seen it coming, I feel like suddenly I'm being slammed with all of the major changes at once. I hadn't gotten used to the idea of losing my boys every other weekend and holidays (or whatever we would have arranged) but now I'm facing being the weekend parent. This was NEVER my life plan. I'm struggling to not feel like a failure as a parent. People do this all the time, right? People make it work. Kids are happy and even thrive. Kids are resilient. Blah blah blah. But these are MY (OUR) kids. They've proven they will survive and be happy no matter what we throw at them, but gosh.
I hate the thought of every single step that's quickly approaching. Even though we talk about it every day, for some reason this morning it hit me like a train. Kendall said they're leaving for vacation next weekend and I lost my breath! That's when it all begins. His beginning, our end.
While I'm so incredibly happy for him, a little bit of me is dying inside. The part that was "us." We built quite the life together and continued to rise above everything that was thrown at us. We've marched side by side and conquered the devil himself, at least a few times. We've been partners, co-parents, and best friends. Although he says that will never change, it will and already has. Valerie is sliding into that role (as it should be) and he and I are already talking less.
I would be lying if I said this moment isn't more difficult than the actual divorce. That was painful, don't get me wrong, but things stayed the same in most aspects. Within the next two weeks I will lose my daughter, my boys, my best friend. Soon after that, I will lose my home of 13 years, the one we built as a family and made into a safe haven. I will become a single mother on weekends only, fighting for the moment when I can get my boys back the majority of the time.
Am I ready? I always thought I was, but today I wonder ...