I’m feeling a little impulsive at the moment. My daughters are sleeping tucked in and warm and I have an equally warm feeling in my heart.
When I was married, I would feel this when the night was complete: dishes done from a home-cooked meal, girls bathed, house straightened, candle lit. I would feel like I was doing something right. One time I even remember making a cinnamon zucchini bread late in the night and thinking I may very well be feeding the girls’ dreams with extra love and sweetness. I believe in the power of the home.
And being divorced can make this really tricky business.
Yet this is not a post about empowerment to the single mother – although if you are and you feel empowered by the end, God bless it. Nor is this a post justifying my decision to remit to the dead end in which my ex-husband and I found ourselves back two years ago. This post’s full intention is to explore the over-whelming feeling I am experiencing in this very moment as I equally process both the joy of the first day of “mom week” and the immense feeling of longing I feel on behalf of my children.
What is it like for them? How do they do this?
** I take a deep inhale and oddly I hear Lucy sigh in her sleep
What do they want? From me..? from life..?
.. to have explained to them. ?
I have these moments when they are with me of such surreal and powerful love. I go into their rooms over and over again and kiss them, tuck them tightly, brush my hand on their hair. I feel so beyond full with their presence and our laughter. We cook together and have dance parties. We have amazing weekends and write songs about things like love and animal tantrums. And this is when being divorced becomes especially tricky business, you see, because in these moments where I relish the fullness of who they are and how they complete my life; I instantly can’t believe I can go without seeing them for an entire week at a time.
And this makes my heart ache very badly, you see. This is the argument so many people put at my plate when the divorce began: “what about the girls?” and I would have to muddle through the moment somehow portraying trust it was for the best. And then when mothers would say “I could never do that!” about 50/50 custody, I would smile as graciously as possible and think “don’t make me a hero”.
Though I once asked my ex if he ever felt embarrassed that we were divorced, I have never felt like a failure. (Truth is, I do feel embarrassed sometimes.) To that same end, though I know I actively give my daughters good, solid experience; I have never felt such crippling panic-stricken moments of how I might fail as I do now as I begin my house hunt, dream of our next trip, and think of how I might teach relationship lessons that will promote strong self assertiveness, love, and compassion.
And so here’s what I come to – in these dear moments when I am so thankful the spirit intercedes through low breaths and sighs, Adele-toned groaning while I cut up celery to pack into lunches – that
A) failure only comes with the thoughts of success
B) God really is still (always and forever) here.
It’s not light in the darkness type presence (though it is, but the point here is different). It’s not about “all I’m doing” and how “good of a mom” I am type thoughts to make me feel like I’m “on track” and that things are “all working out for a reason”. Rather, it is about real love for Jesus presence – real true faith in Christ’s grace type presence (I am crying now) because it is because of this, there is freedom in my here and now.
I am no longer a slave to the right way, the modern thought, the parental code. I am only human and if I am not trying to be right, then – quite frankly – I can’t actually be wrong. Rather, I stay present. Because of the relief I am offered from my inadequacies in my past relationship decisions, I can accept the fact that I am divorced and I live on. I trust my ability to explain things to my daughters. I take heed the advice from the stories of great people of faith and meditate – pray in every moment – that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable. Always knowing that change will occur. Always preparing for impending loss. And readily opening my heart to the life ahead of me as I stay ever mindful of not the thoughts of the house and the trip and the parenting prose – but to the spirit that was put in my body and the person God has designed me to be.