I’m lamenting, I know. Posts like this aren’t fun to read.
So divorce means the kids can’t be in two places at once. We all know that and when we choose to divorce we see the evil it will create when kids are involved but rarely do we realize how much pain it will cause on holidays. This year I do not get to see my children on Christmas day – they will be with their father. Dropping them off tonight was excruciatingly painful. I cried, I yelled. But I had the good sense to wait until I was around the corner driving away so that they didn’t see how much it hurts to not spend tomorrow with them. Next year, he will have to do what I just did and I already feel badly for him even though he doesn’t care one iota about me.
I’ve been barely surviving financially for almost three months now having been unemployed since October. So this Christmas I couldn’t get them very much. In fact, if it weren’t for the charity of others, I wouldn’t have been able to get them anything at all. I found a group that makes bikes from old bikes for kids with parents who need help with gifts. So they got some really cool bikes. I had a coworker hand me $200 with the specific instructions that it was for Christmas gifts and I followed his instructions. So they didn’t get much but they got something and I had a great time watching them open their gifts. They know how tight things have been and they weren’t outwardly disappointed. Of course, tomorrow on the “real” Christmas their father’s parents will spoil them rotten and they will forget about the four or five things I got them. They will probably never understand the struggles I went through these past few months trying to put food on the table because I don’t burden them with those details. I’m employed now, I have regular paychecks coming soon – in a few days in fact. And it will be nice not to stress about money anymore. I will start saving immediately so that I can be someone’s Christmas angel next year. I will pay it forward. How could I not?
My friends are all on Facebook posting pictures of their beautiful trees and piles of presents. Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas while smiling and enjoying themselves. No one remembers the divorced parents who are sad, the destitute parents who just wanted something-anything under a tree for their kids, or the parents who have lost their child and are distraught. I was buying some beer at the grocery store just a bit ago since I’m having some friends over this weekend and the clerk wished me a very enthusiastic Merry Christmas while I was grabbing up my bags. I wanted to slap her. It’s not going to be a Merry Christmas. It’s going to be a Sad Christmas. I’m going to wander my house and look at the two presents I bought for myself, the presents they left behind because those gifts live here. I’ll probably make my kids’ beds, sniffing their empty pillows, and consider doing their laundry. Maybe I’ll even clean their rooms for them. Sounds “Merry” right? I’ll survive their week and a half long visit with their father. It might suck tomorrow. But I’m tougher for it and more focused than ever on making sure my kids get what they need to grow up strong.
Merry Damn Christmas everyone.