Keep Staring

This weekend was another journal worthy weekend. Sometimes it isn’t because something really big happens, not big in a way that everyone around you would think it was big. Big in the sense that something inside of yourself has changed or shifted in some way. Sometimes it seems like nothing at all to the rest of the world, but to you, it’s huge.
You notice it.
I always talk about the changes and the growing that I have done over the past year or so. My kids have done a lot of growing as well. Physically and mentally.
These past few days have definitely been an example of all the changes the four of us have made.
For the good.
Sometimes you don’t always notice it. The days start to run together and the changes start to become second nature.
Life keeps going and you don’t have as much time to reflect.
There are certain times though when you realize you just surprised yourself. You realize that if she had walked by you smiling and laughing with her friends even six months ago your reaction would have been much different from it just was. You realize that you took where she is (possibly) coming from into consideration when she acted the way she did instead of just getting upset.
It has been over six weeks again since my kids have seen their Father. They have been fine this time. Almost glad that he doesn’t call or show up because at this point it’s an interruption to their lives.
I realize this sounds awful. I do. I also realize that there is nothing I can do about that. It does sound bad, because it is bad.
He made the choice to stop calling, to stop texting and to stop all communication. I made the choice to finally let him. I don’t call to ask why he didn’t call, I don’t text to ask why he didn’t text. I choose to use that energy on my kids. On making them happy and not putting the focus on the negative anymore. We live our life and we have our routine. If he wants to be a part of it, he can. I would never stop it but for now, I choose to not let it consume us. I have chosen to not focus on that stuff. So as bad as it sounds, it has been good for my kids. Instead of them watching me stress every other weekend, the days go by each week without anymore focus on this Friday as there was on the last. We talk about it, everyone is aware, but we don’t focus on it.
This weekend we had to think about it and talk about it a little more than we had been though. This weekend my baby had a football game; his team was going to play their fathers girlfriends kids’ team.(Did you get all that?) I didn’t mention it, placed zero focus on anything except that fact that he was going to play awesome and I couldn’t wait to watch!
My daughter was going to be playing softball against a college a few hours away and this would be the first football game she missed. She realized who her brother would be playing first out of the three kids. She didn’t say anything in front of the boys but came to me and asked if I was planning on telling them. I told her no. I see no point in stressing anyone out. Worst case was that he would be there watching her kids when he hadn’t seen his own play and I saw no reason to point that possibility out to anyone under the age of 16.
We saw her within 5 minutes of getting to the field. My oldest boy and I walked by and I had that feeling like I was being watched. I turned around and saw her and the other 3 cheer coaches looking in our direction laughing. My son says “Mom they’re laughing at you.” We kept walking. I told him “Baby I doubt it, they’re probably talking about something funny.” I asked him if he told her hi and he said “Why would I?” It wasn’t really a question, he wasn’t looking for an answer so I didn’t try to offer one. The thing is, I wasn’t mad that I was being stared at. I very obviously was and I really didn’t care. She might really think that I don’t let him take our children. She might really think that I don’t answer his calls. He might tell her that I don’t let them leave. I have no idea what she thinks or what she is told. I have to believe that if she knew the truth she would behave a lot differently. I have to believe that she would reach out, as a mom I have to believe I would.
So instead of getting mad and asking what she was looking at, which is exactly what I would have done in the past; I chose to ignore it. I chose to believe that she must not know better. I don’t know what she knows or what she thinks and I really don’t care anymore. I no longer carry that burden. The fact that she doesn’t get accurate information is something she has to deal with. I know him and I know he probably hasn’t told one person that he doesn’t even call. That is for them to deal with, not me.
I was surrounded by people who if they had all been in the vicinity of each other a year ago I would have been panicking. I didn’t stress it. It was a strange group of people to be sitting with but it was people who were there for my boy. I watched him and got updates on the softball games. I couldn’t be in two places at once and I couldn’t control what was said about me on the other side of the football field but for once I realized I was OK with all of that.
When I got home and we finished our day, when I pulled my new journal out from under my pillow I realized how much things have changed, how much better life has really gotten. There are still so many unanswered questions and there’s still a sense of loneliness but we have all come such a long way. My daughter showed just how much she has matured and grown by putting her pride on the back burner and making the right decisions for her future this weekend. My boys are finally happy again, really happy. School is good for all three of them, my baby is in love with football, my middle son has not only started his gifted classes but is thriving in them and I love my new job. Relationships that I have lost and missed so much are now being built again. Things are good and that is where my focus and my heart are. I don’t have time to worry about why she was laughing…

-S

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