Nothing to see here.
This is the last of then. The last of those posts I had written and saved and scheduled. The last of the ones that seem so outdated, so past the point of present, that they don't seem worth sharing. And we begin anew. In the present. In this new cycle of now. With the posts I have been writing about 2019. But this one? This one was worth pressing Publish. Because this is when I realized that I was past survival and had started to live. This is the day I realized I had begun to heal.
It's the second year of a separated Christmas. One where he comes back to the house to watch the kids open presents. Last year, B got sick. Not a huge surprise. We have a long tradition of the stomach bug on big holidays. The wasband left to drive to his family and I knew. He would not help when a child was sick. He would rather be with comfort and joy of his family. So I manned the post alone. It was good practice.
For that, and other reasons, I was not looking forward to this co-parenting celebration. If all things were equitable, the kids should have been at his place. But we had always promised our kids, and ourselves, that they would wake up in their home on Christmas morning. It was actually a promise that caused some friction in my family in our newlywed years. We stayed the course. I don't see a reason to change that now. Especially as the consistency and knowing is so healthy for the kids. Plus, selfishly, I am not the one who made this decision. Why do I have to be alone on Christmas? That will be a battle for next Christmas. I've got a whole eleven months to be a wreck about that. Comfort. Joy.
And we're not there yet. We're here. In 2018. Where the wasband shows up early and the kids, for the first time ever, sleep late. So you sit across this person who was your everything for over a decade with a pit in your stomach. Awkward because the three things that you still have in common, that ease the bewilderment of being together, that remind you of the good, decided to sleep in. On Christmas. Clearly my children hate me. They have been attempting to negotiate early opening for a week. But on that actual day? Nah. Let's sleep.
So we wait for them. And while we wait, I think about this person that I thought I knew better than anyone. I think that there is nothing of an "us" to recognize anymore. How can there be? I don't even recognize him. I think that we broke into more pieces than I thought we were made of. I think that when the shards are so small and the blast area so big, how can anything ever be put back together. I think co-parenting suuuuuuucks. That is when the munchkins arrive and I am ever so thankful.
Presents are opened and he is gone. Under an hour, maybe? We only do three presents and a stocking. There is not marathon opening in the yellow house. He is gone and it is just a normal day. This day that is supposed to be joy and family and warmth and love and magic. It becomes a day not so different from any other. It broke my heart. To be honest. That is became any other day. But how wonderful that my heart has healed enough to hurt again.