Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The big drop off

We had a full weekend together, with an extra day since school was closed. Wednesday mornings, this morning, I drop them off with their other parent.

This weekend we put together models and watched Mr. Popper's Penguins. Monday, school was closed for the holiday.

The boys and I went to an MLK event with music and other entertainment, had an African drum lesson, ate soul food. Then four hours of "Laser Tag." Last night we ate reubens at the Jewish deli and then went dowtown, to tour a possible middle school for Ezra.

The school is a fine arts school with a modern building. All colors, not like the institutional schools I remember, with a big green staircase rising past three stories of windows through which you can see the downtown skyline. The classrooms are all open. They have a Mac lab with video and music-editing software.

Ezra commented on much of what we saw and told me he wants to go to school there. This was a good feeling. I've been worried. He asks about middle school a lot, and you can tell he's nervous about the change to multiple teachers and classes. Because of staffing, he and his class had the same teacher three years in a row at his current school, and they got to know each other very closely. That's changing, and he will likely go to a new school with none of those friends where he knows nobody.

After four days of really close time together, lots of exploring and discussing and laughing together at stupid jokes, I dropped them off at school. I won't have them again until Monday. It's coincidental that in the car this morning, Ezra asked me what was the saddest thing that ever happened to me.

I resisted the urge to tell him the obvious, the saddest thing is no longer seeing them every day. I resisted telling the boys about the feeling in the chest that stops your breath, and that a small part of the reason I yelled at them this morning was because I'm angry they have to go away. Today I thought I could write about that feeling here instead. That feeling is not a metaphor, and it's the real reason behind that bullshit expression about a broken heart. I want to plead with somebody for another holiday, today. Please, give us another day together.

I resisted because sometimes kids need to be protected from adult problems. Sometimes they need to know, yes, that I'm vulnerable to loving them, but that they are also safe. Sometimes when Ambrose, the littler one, cries, and tells me he misses me, I have to assume the stature of a compassionate parent, vs. just saying me too, Ambrose, me too. Later they can struggle with the contradiction, why would their parents choose to do something so self-destructive as get divorced? Why didn't the marriage, as divorced parents tell their kids, "work out?" Why couldn't we just have cooperated and used our words and have been respectful, like kids are told to with each other in school. Later they can realize how childish and not-together adults can be, in spite of always telling them, in so many words, to grow up.


dbs said...

Thank you for these honest words from the heart.

Anonymous said...

God, this was gutwrenching. I so often fall off the fence on the wrong thing to say side that this makes me ashamed.
I'm not grown up or mature or "thinking of the kids first" minded in any way and the venom I let rip sometimes proves that point over and over again.
Man, I freaking suck.

Kristin Nilsen said...


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