Friday, December 07, 2007

Birthday Bummer

So, X's wife called tonight to coordinate schedules again, and it turns out that X does not have his customary day off this next week. Instead of having Wednesday off, he has Monday off, so the kids will be with him that day. And since they're with him on Sunday anyway, they'll just stay with him from the time he picks them up Saturday night until they go to school on Tuesday morning.

Now, ordinarily this would be fine. EXCEPT.

Sunday is Kira's birthday.

Per the usual dropoff schedule, the kids would have come home to me on Sunday night at 7:00.

NOW, I won't be seeing Kira at all on her birthday.

I have not had to deal with this before. Never have the kids been gone for every minute of their birthday. Even if they're coming home at 7 and bedtime is at 7:30, I've at least been able to be with them on their birthday. Even with our alternating-holiday schedule, I always get to see them on Christmas Day at some point, even if it's not on Christmas morning. The really important days, I haven't had to miss.

And it's just not practical in any way, shape or form to work this out differently if X is going to have them on Sunday and Monday.

I am NOT liking this. I am not liking this at all. mk

**note: I pretty much posted another whole blog entry in the comments section. Also, I would like to note that I really could have been a total bitch and insisted on sticking to the visitation schedule as written, which allows X the kids from Saturday night after he gets out of work until Sunday evening at 7:00, and on his days off from work from 8am to 7pm. So I *could* have made him bring the kids back at 7 Sunday night and turn around and get them Monday morning to take them to school. But we don't do that crap to each other any more. So part of my sadness is knowing that I cooooooooooould see Kira on her birthday, if I was willing to sacrifice a lot of hard work that X and I have put in towards working with each other. So instead, I'm sacrificing that precious half-hour with her on a day that means a lot to me.

Moms out there will remember that special fierce feeling of connection and recognition when they came face-to-face with the small person they carried inside their body. My child's birthday is a day for me to relive that first amazing moment. I know I won't be able to do that forever, they'll grow up and away...I just wasn't prepared for it now. I'm not sure we ever are. mk


Amy said...

Let me be the devil's advocate for a minute. As someone who is "the ex's wife," I've witnessed how his children spend special occasions -- with their mother. Every. single. time. I am not saying that you are a raving, possessive lunatic like her, or that Hubby was never wrong in his relationship w/ her or the kids, but. Fathers deserve to make some special memories, too. Moreover, I think it is in the best interest of the kids to have to share their special occasions with their father from time to time. My personal feeling is my husband's relationship has been irreparably damaged with his kids because he was never allowed to foster and nurture it, since the kids were always "her kids."

I realize it's hard, and I know I'd have a tough time with it, too. But try to look at the flip side of the coin this time.

markira said...


Thanks for your comment. I agree that it is a great thing that Kira gets to spend her birthday with her dad. He doesn't always get to see them on their birthdays because of his work schedule (I would definitely work with him to share some time those days if he was able), so I'm happy she'll see him. He's letting her bring her best friend over for an overnight and he's having a "family party" (I get to throw the "kid party"...."get to"...I offered to let him throw it, but he didn't want to) so he'll definitely be able to create some great memories for and with her.

I'm very supportive of the kids building a good relationship with their dad, most notably because X had a crummy relationship with *his* dad after his parents' divorce, because his mother sabotaged it every chance she got. I am determined NOT to do that to my kids. Whatever he is or has been to me, he is their father and they love him and he loves them and why on earth would I try to hurt that.

But I *am* a bit selfish in that I do like to get a little bit of the special days with them, and I think it's important for them, too, that they've had me there. Mark is 12 and Kira will be 8, and this will be the first birthday I've missed. I know X misses a lot of them, and I honestly just don't know how he does it.

I had always wondered if we would be able to be that divorced couple that could spend holidays together, maybe at a shared birthday party or something. That didn't work out.

I was okay with the idea of Kira spending the day with her dad, and coming home and getting about a half-hour with me so I could recognize her special day, before I tucked her into bed. I didn't want X to *not* have the special's just always worked out that I've gotten at least a tiny piece of it, too.

So, I'm sad and I'm frustrated with X's boss for changing his schedule this week. It'll be weird wandering around on Kira's birthday without Kira. I'll talk to her on the phone, of course, but it still feels like a loss for me.

Thanks again for playing devil's advocate. It's always good to have someone remind you when you've got it pretty darn good.