I am grateful for technology on the days when I FaceTime with Atticus – 1200 miles away and we get to have dinner together.
We are now in our final week apart before we get to come together for the last month of school and summer vacation. Back in September, I cried every day because I missed him. I longed to hold him. I feared for his safety. My mind attempted to drown me with fear and worry. So much was unknown. I worked, meditated and prayed daily to access the strength and acceptance to weather our first school year apart with grace. I gave up the fight for what I believed was right and best to find peace. I surrendered to the harsh reality of divorce…
When we divorce our spouse, we divorce our children, too.
Then Grace came. Rosemary Grace was born on October 12, 2015. She arrived wide-eyed and barely breathing. By her side I practiced breathing peace. I sobbed. I surrendered. I believed. After 9 days in the NICU we were able to take our sweet girl home. Atticus was there, too, and my mom. It was the sweetest homecoming I have ever experienced! I now understand how full my mother feels when she has all her children around her, together, in the same room. Magical.
My personal work this year has been forgiveness. Forgiving myself every time I question whether or not I made the right decision. Forgiving Atticus’ father for his part in the shared hell we had created. Forgiving myself for my part in the shared hell we had created. Forgiveness is a beautiful concept and an neverending practice. To say it is not easy is a gross understatement. I don’t even think I understood what the word meant until recently. It was just an idea. Now forgiveness is a daily practice.
When I notice my thinking turn catastrophic or I step into fear, I practice stepping to the side and looking on. I breathe. I notice how everything is as it is. It is ok. In healing myself, my broken first marriage will be healed. Atticus benefits from my inner healing far greater that he would benefit from sitting by my side when my spirit was broken. I am whole. I always was. I just lost myself in the midst of the drama and the pain. In the deep nights of quiet sadness I became reacquainted with my soul.
Now it is May. Spring has come and I have survived. Atticus has survived. Do I think this placement situation is the best solution for him? No, I still do not. But what I do know is that in letting go and surrendering, I have healed. I still ache at night when I wake in the night with thoughts of him. But I send him love, surround him in light and go back to sleep.
Next week I return to Wisconsin. I will hold both my blessed children at the same time and I am filled with gratitude. Parenting is a profound spiritual retreat – a journey of self-awareness and growth. It is a wild ride! It is easy for us to take our children for granted because they are right there… often illuminating how easily we can get nutty. In the separation, the time apart, we have the opportunity to experience their absence. We are able to express gratitude for who they are separate from us. Atticus is a treasure.
Soon I will see him, hold him and breathe him in. I will rest in the sweet, quiet moments in the morning when I am awake and he still sleeps. I will witness the changes in his features, in awe of the man he will one day become. I will cherish every breath. For the days we are together I will hold him tight, and when the time comes again, I will open my arms and let him go.
And so it is with parenting…we draw our children to us in love and we release them in awe. Magical.