Well. The kids went to their dads on Friday. Being grown-ups and very mature...ahem, we split the holidays in two. One week with dad and one with me. Last year I had the kids for Christmas day, and he had them for new year. This year, its me for new years and him for Christmas. On the face of it, this is a sensible way to ensure that the kids get a share of both parents, fairly and without feeling torn. Intellectually, I get it. Emotionally I am a wreck on Christmas eve and into Christmas day. I miss my children terribly. I feel lost and unanchored, cut adrift. A mother, without a child to mother. I will see them for a couple of hours on Christmas day - my ex lives a short drive away and like me, shares his time with the children without complaint.
I am blessed in so many ways - health and a heavily mortgaged roof over my head. My kids are fit and well and, so far, well balanced. But there is an ache in my heart when I wake up without them. I cannot imagine what it must be like to loose a child.
So as I wander round my house on Thursday I will give myself a stern talking to and say a prayer for the McCanns and all those other parents who are without their children this year. I will jump in the car, whizz over to the ex's house and rejoice in the knowledge that my children are safe, happy and well. I'll bury my face in my son's mop of blonde curls and smell his wonderful, 9 year old smell - a mix of baby shampoo and newly discovered hair gel.... and I'll embrace my beautiful 15 year old daughter and marvel that this beautiful creature was once part of me, and at some angles, looks just like me, albeit taller, better groomed ....and far more sophisticated at 15 than I ever was.
I will raise a glass with my ex, our eyes will meet and we will silently rejoice in our children and thank god for their existence. The pain and anguish of the divorce is forgotten in that moment as we celebrate these two amazing creatures that we created. Then I'll jump back in to the car, and roar off to the pub, where I'll share a festive glass or 3 with the man I love, who rescued me after my divorce, and head home to doze with him in front of the telly and indulge in , not turkey and all the trimmings...but olives, dark chocolate and chilled fizz ....heaven!