This is the second Thanksgiving in a row I haven’t been with my children.
Figuring out how to deal with holidays is one of the most difficult decisions for a lot of divorcing couples, I hear. It wasn’t for LOD and me. The conversation went like this:
Our Awesome Mediator: “Now we have to talk about making a holiday schedule. This can be really difficult, so let’s try to stay open as we work through it.”
LOD: “Do you just want to just keep the alternating schedule we’ve been doing since R was born?”
Me: “Yeah. Ink it.”
OAM: “Wow. OK, then. Let’s move on to life insurance…”
Of course that was a lot easier because we’d been alternating Thanksgiving and Christmas between our two families for years. If we’d had to come up with a structure from scratch it would have been much more difficult and emotional.
But the switching has worked really well. Until this year, when the vile intersection of school schedules and airline fare gouging made it impossible for me to take the kids to my family for Thanksgiving. I was really upset that my kids weren’t going to see their grandparents and aunt and uncle until next summer, or my grandmother (who has Alzheimer’s).
And then LOD volunteered to switch.
He’s got them today, and I get to take them to my parents’ (driving when they have time off school) for Christmas for the second year in a row.
I am extremely grateful for his generosity in doing this for me. He absolutely didn’t have to. We both signed that agreement.
But he did.
So today I will take the subway to my friends’ apartment in Brooklyn (I’m bringing the pies) and drink and laugh and be happy, and my children will be with their family that isn’t my family. And then at Christmas my children will be with my family after a long car trip across my archnemesis (I-80 in Pennsylvania) while LOD is with his family.
For those of you in the thick of it, I wish for you a) peace when your children are with their other parent, especially on a holiday, and b) that the divorce allows both of you to be more generous with each other apart than you could be together.