This past week, I had an incredible surprise in the middle of the night, when, at 3am, I heard a very loud banging on my front door. I stumbled out of bed, quickly trying to unhook the ice machine on my leg that I have to sleep in, and hobbled to the door. I think about twenty different terrible case scenarios shot through my head, but as soon as I got to the door, I heard the sound of little giggles on the other side. I threw open the door, and my beautiful babies were grinning and laughing back at me, saying "Mommy!!!!" My ex husband had taken it upon himself to drive the 12 hours straight through from when he got off of work to bring them home to me as a surprise the weekend before my birthday. Pretty awesome, huh? I thanked him profusely, and even posted my admiration for his kindheartedness on Facebook. If not for him bringing them, I don't know when I would have been able to see my kids next, since, thanks to my knee injury, I'm unable to drive long distances.
We spent about an hour talking to the kids, and then Jesse went to sleep on the couch, while I had Avery and Cori hop into bed with me. As I mentioned before, I'm hooked up to a machine that keeps cold ice flowing across my knee injury all night long. When paired with the general pain of much movement, I have to keep pretty immobile while I'm sleeping. So, as much as I loved waking up next to my sweet sleepy headed beauties a couple of hours later, I was absolutely feeling the pain in my leg from being kicked, rolled over, and climbed across, while my little movers slept. I let my ex husband know that it probably wasn't going to be possible for them to stay with me overnight alone, and he was very understanding. Things went on swimmingly throughout the day, and I was impressed by how friendly my ex husband was being when he picked them up that evening.
Fast forward to the next day, and he was completely opposite from the day before. He barely spoke to me, was short in responses to questions I asked, and just generally pretty rude. That behavior carried on throughout the weekend, and when I asked him today why he acted that way, he told me he was upset that I wouldn't let them stay with me at night. I explained, once again, that I have a one bedroom apartment, and two children who are still very much co-sleepers a lot of the time. I reiterated how I was unable to sleep with them in bed with me and how much my leg hurt throughout the weekend from the beating it took for the 4 hours they did sleep in my bed on Friday morning.
Anyway, it's very frustrating to me, this whole ex husband, ex wife dynamic. I like to pretend that we get on great, that we have a wonderful post-divorce relationship, but I think that's clearly false. We text each other throughout the week, me asking about the kids, and him sharing stories about work, or his running, or a funny story. That part is nice. I mean, I did love this guy for eight years, so maintaining a friendship should be easy, right? Not so. Our friendly conversations are sprinkled with anger, bitterness, and constant drudging up of past mistakes. I don't pin all of the blame on him, by any means. Loving each other for eight years and being married for five means that we both know exactly how to get under each others' skin. We know exactly what to say to piss each other off, and it's easy to hurt one another.
It's frustrating, to say the least I wonder how long this will go on. I think it's obvious that my ex husband still has feelings for me, and I hate that, not for me, but for him. I want so much for him to move on, to find love again, and maybe even one day get married and have kids again. He claims again and again that he doesn't want to find love again, for reasons I won't get into on a public forum, but it makes me sad for him. Of course our marriage didn't work out; we weren't meant to be. But that doesn't mean I want unhappiness for him.
I've said before, and still absolutely believe that there is nothing wrong with each of us moving on, finding love, remarrying, and maybe having more children one day. The way I see it, when we allow new love into our lives, we are allowing new love into our children's lives. I can't think of a way that that could be a bad thing, albeit hard at first. I would never, ever want to replace my children's father. He is wonderful to them, and I hope their relationship will always flourish, but I think that it is possible to have stepparents without ever feeling like the parents are being replaced. It's what I wish for one day for my kids: to have two loving stepparents, and maybe new siblings that they can grew up with, be it step-siblings or half.
I just hope that a day will come when I won't have to bite my tongue at triggering comments and I can feel a genuine friendship with my ex husband. I'm tired of wondering when the nice will fade and the anger set in, or when the bitterness will subside, and friendly is back again. I don't know how we'll ever successfully co-parent and raise two happy, healthy, stable children without a solid friendship between us.