When you're divorced, usually you have to share your kids during the Holidays.
For me, every other year is my year to celebrate in a very different way than when my kids are with me. On Thanksgiving, this year at least, my children are celebrating with their father.
It's hard. But it's okay. And, it's getting easier now that I've gotten more used to it. I've adapted to this new way of living, and so have my kids. Whether they are with me, or with their dad and step mom, they have definite staple traditions: Turkey with all the trimmings, and family.
To be honest, there are moments when it hits me… that loneliness, the “missing them”, the reminder that things you thought would never change sometimes do. The quiet of an empty house. Sometimes I feel hollow, sorry for myself, and lonely. My retreat during these darker times is to run a hot bath, light a few candles around it, and maybe even indulge in a little dark chocolate ice-cream and a glass of red wine. (A beer and a pack of Red Vines do the trick for me as well).
I allow myself to wallow a little, feel the pain and sorrow of not having my children with me on the actual day of Thanksgiving, but then I make an absolute point of remembering what I am thankful for.
· My children’s and my health.
· The fact that we all have many people in our lives that we love and who love us.
· The knowledge that even when we spend time apart, we are still connected in the most important ways.
Maybe it’s easier for me now because I am used to it. I’ve been apart from the “old version” of my family now for about nine years. I have new traditions with my new (or as I call him, my “real”) husband and his family. I still celebrate with my own parents, and even though the relationship with my ex and his new wife is not ideal, I know for sure that they love my kids and my children are safe, happy and will be well fed tomorrow night.
Next year will be my year to celebrate Thanksgiving with them again.
But this year, I am quietly thankful for the things that really matter.