One of the hardest things I had to do in 2016 was going from seeing my son every day, hearing him tell me he loved me and giving me thousands of kisses, to seeing him every other week. That is the custody arrangement my ex and me have worked out. Week one with me, week two with dad, so on and so forth.
Today is the last day of my week with him. As I write this he is still sound asleep, sprawled across the bed all long gangly limbs and cherubic innocence. Not so innocent when awake but in the coma of sleep he is still my little baby. One might think that after 9 months of this that you might get use to it. But you never do. I cry every week. I start to miss him before he is gone. My home becomes silent and somehow less colorful.
I never let him see me like this. The overwhelming need to cry only occurs when he is, like now, asleep or otherwise occupied out of sight. I don’t let him know that my heart breaks when he goes out that door at 4 p.m. on Sunday. I don’t go into detail about how I will count down the hours until he returns in 7 days. I give him a hug and kiss, tell him I love him and will see him in a week. Than I go into the house and wonder what to do with myself now.
So I read. I spend a lot of time on Facebook. I text a lot. I work. But I don’t really live. My world is drab. There are no visions of sugarplums or fairies dancing in my head. There is depression. There is a need to self-medicate so it does not hurt so much. In doing that though one is lead down a bitter twisted road that ends only with more pain and conflict.
I am going to do something different this year. And no this is not a resolution. This is a need, a must, a chance for me to remake myself once more. To start with I am going to write more. Write more often? Just write. Writing is cathartic for me. It allows me to process my feelings and to work through the dark imagings that can arise.
I will live healthier. Eat better. When my son is here I cook meals and when he isn’t I eat whatever is on hand. I need to stop that. I need to nourish my body as well as my mind. I am going to drink less and learn to live with the silence that surrounds me. And I am going to be okay with it.
In doing so I will become a better version of me. A better mom, a better friend, a better lover.