Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The longer he's gone, the more littered the passenger seat of my car becomes. Water bottles, Target bags, receipts. If I ever get the opportunity to leave the house sans children (less often, now, with having to pay for the sitter AND dinner) I end up somewhere we'd been together. If I go somewhere with the kids, they'll remind me, and quickly, of "that time when ... came here with us"...before we saw Rudolph, when we had the tater tots. They'll ask "can we go to the spaghetti restaurant?" ...said he liked the pink flamingos the best, too. They miss his dog. They miss his house. They miss him. And their missing him keeps me where I am, within my grief. The tears spring to my eyes, and luckily, it's summer, and I can pull my sunglasses down over my eyes. Every time I cross the river, twice a day, I remember riding in the front of the kayak down that river, the sun on my skin, the cheap beer cold on my lips, him, just out of reach. I switch on the ceiling fan in my bedroom, the one I was afraid to install, the one he put up for me, joking that the connection needed to point north. I found a staple on the wood floor in the boy's room...my instinct was to text him. His facebook page is too painful for me to view; all that's visible to me now is the times we spent together. I look at his IG every couple of days. His life seems to be moving on as though I was never a part of it. And really, I never was. He always meant more to me than I did to him. He was out of my league from the start. Why would I be worthy of a grownup, a real grownup? One with a job, and a house, and a car, one who offers to drive, insists on paying? He was always a gentleman. Up until the night he broke me. In June, I fell in love. In May, my heart was broken. And now, now on these warm summer days, I battle to stay strong for my children. They deserve the fun, happy, active mom they're used to. I keep hoping he'll change his mind. He won't. I go through the motions. I wash the dishes, I fold the laundry. And I quake with fear that *it* will never happen for me. That I will either be the cliche, dragging man after man through my kids' lives, or that I will end up alone. My recovery times between breakups are growing longer and longer. It isn't fair to them. It isn't fair to me. It's not fair. None of it is fair. The loneliness of single parenthood is one I never dreamed of. I am not cut out to be stoic. The small taste I had of love, the life I desire, seems so far out of reach. I'm simultaneously in need of a fast forward button to get through the grief, and a pause button to keep the days long, and my children small and resilient. And I know it will get better. I know I will get better.