Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day of School? Not Here

While I am thrilled to see the first day of school and the end to the day-long complaints of "I'm bored" (strangely no one understood my response of "I'm not Julie, the Cruise Director!"), this is also a melancholy and guilt-ridden time for me and for many divorced parents.

This kind of guilt first started when my youngest daughter started school and her newly separated Dad and I united to take her for her first day. We both snapped pictures of her standing proudly in front of the name of her school. It wasn't until I got home that I realized the camera I borrowed my boyfriend had no film (remember film?). I took it as a sign: a sign that I was being punished for depriving this little girl of her unified family.

Nine years ago, I was once again in the position of being a separated parent but this time (through lessons learned) it was amicable. My estranged (weird word) husband and I were determined to have as much security for our three shared children that you could possible have in two houses on streets that touched.

The arrangement has always been that he has the children for the first half of the week. This means every Sunday night, all day Monday and Tuesday, and every Wednesday morning I don't see what they are doing and how they are faring. It also means I always miss the morning excitement on that first day of the school year.

I see the school buses go by and I look at the proud pictures parents post on Facebook and Twitter and I am sad. I know it's the life I "chose" but to all the parents who say I'm "lucky" I get a break (from my kids) I say "It's not 'luck' to miss half of your child's life. It's not 'luck' to miss every first day of school. But it is my good fortune that I have them in my heart each and every minute."

1 comment:

  1. Aw Michelle, missing your kids for half of each week must be crazy tough! When your kids grow up they will appreciate growing into well adjusted adults that have both a mom and dad regularly in their life, it's something truly irreplaceable!