Waiting for Scans

jairo-alzate-45540Waiting on scan results is hard. Your mind starts to wander, you imagine the worst. You invent meaning in nuances. Did the radiologist add extra time to your scan because there was something extra to image?

Was the rad tech compassionate with you because she knows something you don’t (yet)?

You bargain. You play “if this, then that.” And you pray.

But you still have to wait.

And sometimes, if you’re lucky, that’s the hardest part.

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Apology

apology

My ex never apologized to me.

When I think about that, it still makes my blood boil.

Don’t get me wrong, my life is amazing.

I’m happily divorced. If that’s a thing.

It was hard at first, but it got easier, then every aspect of my life got sweeter as time went by.

I love my life, I love my new partner, my son is happy, life is good.

But my ex still parents with me like everything is my fault. Like I’m the one who walked out the door with no plan. Like just because he found a nice girlfriend and flexible job and he wants everything to magically change to 50/50 and “fair” and “equal”, he should have it.

Life doesn’t work that way, and in our specific case, that’s not what’s best for our son, so co-parenting for us doesn’t work that way (or at all really?).

So here I am, left dealing with an ex who never apologized, refuses to take any responsibility for his part in our situation, and still continues to blame me for everything that happens.

Yep. Everything. No exaggeration needed.

Our son’s lunchbox is missing?
>>>>>> I’m a liar.

A school form was not scanned and sent to Dad?
>>>>> I’m a shitty Mom who should enjoy my hell.

I ask to borrow our son’s extra pair of soccer socks left at Dad’s house?
>>>> I’m a lazy mom who should do more laundry (and no, we can’t borrow his socks).

And on and on it goes. It doesn’t really matter what the context is. The only answers are (a) It’s my fault and (b) I did it intentionally to cause my ex harm because I’m a horrible person.

What’s funny (not haha funny) is that literally, my ex is the only person who knows me who would say anything negative about me as a mother.

How does that not just blow his mind?

I suppose because he probably never thinks about it.

He doesn’t consider how many people his behavior and bad choices have affected personally over the years. He doesn’t consider how many people – from family (both sides), friends, medical professionals, school staff, and others, who have witnessed him being a less than stellar person and father, first hand.

I know my ex loves our son. But love alone does not make someone a good parent.

And let’s get real. Everything is my fault.

He cheated because I wasn’t a good enough wife. It’s all my fault.

He lied because I was too difficult to talk to. Blame me for that.

He left because his life, a life most people would be grateful to live, didn’t make him happy. That’s my fault too.

If it weren’t for me, his life would be perfect.

What do I know. Maybe now his life is perfect, except he has to deal with me.

And as much as he wants to deflect his guilt, anger, and blame?

I’m not taking it on.

People who act the way he does don’t really change. They just get better at hiding the parts of themselves they don’t want others to see.

Hair Loss, and More

braided

I went to you in tears

Soaking wet from my shower,

wrapped up in a towel

Seeking comfort

Another clump of hair had fallen out

Despite the fact that I knew to anticipate the hair loss, that I knew it wouldn’t all fall out, that I knew it would grow back, despite all that, it still brought me to tears

So I went to you for comfort, for reassurance

You turned to me with an empty stare

I wrapped my arms around you anyways

But there was no comfort to be found

Because you weren’t really there

Shedding you was the best thing I never knew I needed

And the hair grew back eventually

Beautifully so

 

Summer Math Fun

Summer fun has begun. The kids are livin’ it up at day camp running around like goblin sharks, covered head-to-toe in mineral sunscreen, we’re hitting up the pool every chance we get to hone in on those swimming skills, and we’re also enjoying our travels and making the most of our vacation days.

You know what else happens in the summer?

The inevitable regression in studies from the school year. Just this week, I asked my son to sit down and write a birthday card for his grandma. He was hesitant to spell words I know he knows, his handwriting was atrocious, and his concentration was well, a challenge.

Enter Big Catch, a fun division board game.logicroots-82

I love the company’s mission – to make practicing math fun, and a family activity. Logic Roots designs its’ games with the goal of generating 20 times more math practice than the classroom, based on the idea that more practice = better math.

The goal of the Big Catch game is to save the lost fishermen by using division skills.

I noticed as we played that the concept of dividing up the fish and getting a remainder made sense and could sink in and help younger kids as part of an introduction to division. Or as was also the case for us, it served as a great reminder and memory boost for 10-year-olds.

logicroots-6545.jpg

The fishing/water theme of Big Catch is perfect too, as we’re about to head out for a week at the lake, with our new board game in tow.

Check out the other math games Logic Roots sells on Amazon – there are games for every stage of your child’s learning and development and grade level. And free colorful division worksheets that you can download too.

“Division to your rescue!”

______________________________

This blog post was sponsored by Logic Roots to review their product(s). Please note that junegrace.com publishes posts from sponsors that may provide products and services and/or pay for placement, links, and reviews. June Grace only reviews products and services that are a good fit for the blog and hopes readers have the opportunity to learn about new brands. All opinions expressed are of the blog’s author, June Grace.

Father’s Day Lessons

fathersonbeach

For Father’s Day, I helped my son pick out a card (he wanted the one with a cut-out airplane gliding across the front). I also took him to the store to pick out a little gift for his Dad. I explained that we had a budget he had to stay within, and that we could only buy one thing, but otherwise, it was completely up to him to select what he wanted for his Dad.

When we got home, I cut the wrapping paper that he picked and handed him each piece of tape so he could wrap the gift himself. I spelled out the words for him that he wanted to write on the card. He was so stinkin’ proud of his work, he just knew his Dad was going to love it.

A few weeks before Father’s Day, I started talking with my son about what the day means and why we celebrate our fathers. I asked him to think about 5 nice things he could say that would make his Dad smile, then we recited them together.

The day before Father’s Day, I asked him to add one thing to the list that he could do for his Dad. He picked “give him the strongest hug in the world.” He also asked to buy his Dad’s favorite cookies at the grocery store, and a special one that had “Awesome Dad” scrawled across the front in blue icing. So we did.

I helped him pack the goodies into his “Going to Daddy’s house” bag. He beamed with pride, he was soooooo excited to show his Daddy.

As I sent him out the door that day, I reminded him of the nice things he thought of to say and how much Daddy loves his hugs, and I sent him on his way, bag in hand.

I stood back and watched from the window as he had his Dad unpack the bag in my driveway. He just couldn’t wait another second!

His father and I don’t talk, we don’t really even look at each other anymore. Honestly, I hate him. But I love our son, and watching him really understand the meaning behind this special day and feeling proud of himself for coming up with such thoughtful ways to show his appreciation for his Dad, well, it’s worth it.

 

 

942 Days Later, I’m Divorced

942 days.serendipity

942 days ago it felt like my world came crashing down on me. From that day on, the life I had built over the previous 8 years of marriage would no longer be the life I would be living.

Well, my life would be the same. But my “world” wouldn’t be.

Life is what we experience each time we take a breath, when we feel alive just from looking into our children’s eyes or feeling their breath on our skin.

Life is literally every breath — the beginning and the end.

The world we live in, it’s what surrounds us, what we choose to do with our life (and some of what is chosen for us).

We don’t control life. We do control the world around us — the immediate environment we live in, who inhabits it, who we interact with, where we go, what we do for work, how we spend our time.

942 days ago, when my husband decided that the world we had built together was no longer what he wanted, it crushed me. But my life went on.

I was grateful to be alive and capable of creating an improved world for myself and my son. Just the year before, I was scared that I would die of cancer and leave my son motherless.

Maybe shedding a partner who was never capable of being there for me would be a blessing in the end.

Turns out, it was.

I found it was easier to breathe without him, after the initial sadness and anger passed. I realized how difficult it had been to be married to him, how hard I worked to keep my marriage intact. I just kept going because I didn’t realize I had a choice. I embraced the suck.

You don’t really learn who a person is until you divorce them. Shit got scary around here.

I would have preferred a more graceful period of battle, and a more reasonable, amicable 365-day wait on that whole divorce and custody battle aspect.

But now that we will finally be officially and legally and actually divorced?

It feels good, the finality of it.

I hope nothing happens to the judge before I get to the court house today.

If one more delay or snowstorm, or legal technicality pushes this out any more days… well I’ll suck it up and keep counting I guess.

Life goes on 😉

 

Tin Man & Heartache

tim-gouw-133424While catching the commuter train this morning, Miranda Lambert’s melodic voice filled my ear buds and unexpectedly brought me to tears.

I quickly swatted the tears away, but it got me thinking —

Lately, my life has resembled a country song.

My ex split when our son was three. He was barely there for our son those first few months, as he tried to figure himself out, hold on to his job, his affair partner, and grapple with his addictions.

In hindsight, he wasn’t around much before either, you know, because he was busy “working late.”

There I was, with a full-time job, health crisis of my own, and a little boy who wanted to know when Daddy was coming home, why Daddy left, why Daddy didn’t pick him up from school anymore, why, why, why.

Family flew into town to help me those first few weeks and it was still hard. I was in shock, stopped eating, and operated on auto-pilot at work and with friends.

My son did not adjust well, often clinging to my legs while I tried to make dinner, he was wetting the bed again, having nightmares, trying to nurse, he didn’t want to let me out of his grasp.

In a nutshell, it was regression and he also started showing signs of anxiety.

I gave our family dog to my best friend. That broke my heart too. 

For so long, I separated the heartache I experienced during the aftermath of my ex leaving from everything else I had to contend with in my life. I pressed “pause” on the heartache and trudged ahead.

I had no idea how long it would take to get through my divorce and custody battle. More than two years went by, and we still weren’t divorced, nor did we have a court-approved visitation schedule. 

I had my son full-time and we had a makeshift schedule where his Dad would come over to take him to school, and pick him up from school on other days for dinner visits, which eventually morphed into every other weekend sleepovers, always requiring 50+ emails back-and-forth to coordinate. Exhausting to say the least, but at least he was involved in his son’s life again. 

During that time, I refinanced the house so we didn’t have to move and spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours preparing for our  custody trial. 

I took and failed a credentialing test I really needed for work (fail!), I spent a lot of time and stress trying to get into a different career field, thinking I would need the extra income, but it was not meant to be (fail!).

I underwent radiosurgery at a hospital out-of-state, a week before my son started elementary school and it was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I couldn’t have made it through that without the love and support of my family and loving boyfriend.

As you can see, life just never stopped hurling challenges our way. Not for a second.

No wonder I pushed down the heartache. But this morning, listening to that song, it came back to me and I remembered just how raw and devastating it all was — the heartache of being left.

It reminded me that it’s ok to reflect on how hard a period of your life was, and how much you went through, because you did it. You made it to the other side. I did that.

Here’s to reflection and the growth that comes from it. Thanks, Miranda.