These are my three boys. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have been wondering whether they actually exist. It’s not that I’m a completely distracted mother or a completely self-absorbed human being, though I could be accused of being both on occasion. The reason I’ve mentioned them so little, is that I am conflicted about making their lives public. I’m okay with sharing the details of my own personal life, but that’s my choice. I have to tread carefully where my children are concerned.
At the same time, a huge part of my identity is wrapped up in my role as a mother and as a single parent, and there are large gaps in my life when I don’t write about my three favourite guys. They left today for their dad’s house, after being with me for the last 10 days. Tonight my house feels big and empty. And very quiet.
I’m not complaining. When the boys are with their dad, I work late, meet friends for drinks, see plays, write, read, exercise. I relish my freedom. But I miss my boys all the same. I miss the morning hugs, when they stumble downstairs, all warm and rumpled from sleep; I miss picking up the littlest one after school and hearing him report out about which of the many complicated versions of tag he played at recess; I miss the rush of dinner and homework, the race to get to soccer; I miss curling up in my bed with my littlest one and reading to him, and then when he’s in bed, having a second cuddle with my middle son as I read to him; and I miss the occasional, precious moments when my 15 year old appears from his room and sits down with me for a cup of tea.
I remember when my ex-husband and I started talking about divorce that I was terrified about the prospect of sending the boys off to their dad’s for the first time. It had nothing to do with my ex, who is a very good dad. It was just that I couldn’t imagine being in the house without my three guys. The single most important aspect of my identity at that time was my role as a mother. Who was I without my children? And the first few times that the boys went to their dad’s, I was bereft. At that time, I had the boys all but two weekends a month, and so it didn’t take me long to come to appreciate (and need) the time alone. But it was a difficult adjustment.
Now, four and a half years later, I look forward to my time alone. I put in longer hours at work. I get out nearly every night to a Jazzercise class. I get my hair done. I get together with friends. I schedule dates. I actually get a few blog posts written. I enjoy the spaciousness of time that is all my own. But even now, the house still feels big and empty. And very quiet.
- Dating and the Single Parent (sisley43.wordpress.com)