With anticipation and excitement I will greet them after a week away with her father for the first leg of their summer vacation. But how much do I focus on what they are doing now, without me and if they are having fun?
When my kids go away to visit my ex-husband, their father, the older they get the more I feel a stray. The emptiness in the house is loud and forceful. I try with all my might not to take it in; to hold my breath and not to inhale the stale desperation that lives and grows with every moment of their absence. Their visitation sometimes feels like I am in training for the ultimate separation -their life beyond living with me.
I look at the pictures of them playing that I took before the clock struck 12 today. I think about the activities this morning and all the life that filled the space now stark and barren. Their stuffies still on the couch; do I go and hold them? Will that bring me closer to the boys now gone? How much do I focus on the memories in my head or do I turn to the endless list of to do's, put aside?
I tell myself that have to embrace life, my work and use the time I have, without my children, while they are elsewhere. Today I know they will be back in a week and when they come back I will have adjusted to the silence in the house and the sound of the clicking of the typewriter will become the new music to my ears.
These past several days I have left piles of my own work to attend to their games and practices and lunches and meals and their laundry and shopping excursions and ball throwing and play dates and summer homework; they have been my sole priority these past few days.
I want my boys to come first, and more and more so as I feel that they will be gone for good soon. Its days like today that make so aware of this reality that it hurts. The older they get, the more they grow, and the more I feel their absence when they visit their father. The visitation forces me to feel the inevitable pain and loss of their ultimate separation as one day soon they will enter adulthood and leave for good.
With all my might I remain in the present, and block the image pushing into my mind of them moving out permanently and not returning on Thursday of next week as planned. I am thankful, grateful even for my cognition, my brain that propels me away from the feelings of despair, and from focusing on the loud silence and instead makes me look at the pile of papers neglected while the boys have been attended to these past few days. I know all I need to do these next few days to care for me. The part of me, that is separate from them and I am thankful for this.
I love my sons, I love them more than ever and as they get older I seem to want to be with them more, and while they may need me more they have less time for me; appropriately so I am surpassed by other wants like friends, sports, music and even technology.
I accept this and it's with that acceptance that I turn to the pile of work on my table and I'm thankful , thankful for that part of my life, the part of my life that lives and will always live while their life is moving each day one more step away from me. I am grateful for the separation training and time to develop my own life and goals during their visitation with dad, for how else can I view it today?