So I haven’t gotten into the dynamic between my ex and I, but all in all it’s fairly good, considering. And in comparison to lots of other people, it’s great. I’ve had my moments, I’m sure, but I’m very past that and I know what’s good for my girl is a healthy relationship with the other side of her family. She should have no hesitancy in developing a bond with any/all of her Daddy’s family/friends. (Let’s take for granted that it is safe people he’s exposing her to, for the moment). When I moved into the city, my brother-in-law lived about a block down from me. That was neat for B, when we went for walks, she would see them. Or her uncle would rollerblade over and take her for a skate. Nice, huh? But we moved into our new home with my husband and his son and we like our new development and the privacy it entails. However, for the last three days, my ex brother-in-law, his wife and their new baby are viewing the house down the street. Very, very close. I can see it from my house. Yikes. I don’t love that. It’s a house I have to drive by to get to and from mine, it’s where I run past on my daily runs, it’s something I’ll have to see way too much of. Now I’m cool with the brother-in-law, the wife, and the baby. It’s the extras that come with it. You see, my ex and his live-in are going to be over there sometimes too. I don’t mind that I see him now and then in to context of my daughters goings on-but I don’t want to see him all the time. I certainly don’t want to watch his relationship (which again, is a dismaying story for another time-it’s very much not a positive role model for B, but since she’s not there all that much, I don’t fight that one). What do you guys think? I dejectedly told my husband this news and he laughed and said that now it would be a great reason for me to have outrageously gorgeous flowers, gardens and landscaping. And he also pointed out that hey, we don’t even like that house-ours is better and way nicer!!! Ummm, honey, you totally missed the point. I LIKE the brother-in-law, I want him to have nice things! I didn’t divorce HIM after all! He could live next door to us and it would be fabulous for B to grow up with her cousin right here! (Seriously she is SO excited!).
And here’s some eight year old insight. Last night, after our run (well, my run, she bikes ahead of me, which means I basically sprint for a few miles, but hey, it’s fun somehow), when I was rubbing her feet with baby lotion and her dry little elbows (how did they get dry?), I asked her what it’s like to have your parents not live together? It sounds bizarre, but I haven’t ever asked her that way before. I lived with two parents who have been happily married for 35 years and still hold hands and kiss all the time. So I wonder. She doesn’t remember us living together, because she was three when he moved out of our house and we really made sure she’s always seen him quite often and they talk every day, usually at least twice a day. She said, “Well Mommy, it’s hard to fall asleep there, because that’s when I think about you. And when I think about you I get all hot and sweaty and I can’t sleep and I miss you too bad. Really bad. Mom, I stayed up til two one time watching TV!”. Ok, that’s probably not totally true because she has a hard time staying awake past nine thirty! But I understood what she was saying. And she told me how she feels like my house is really her home and then she amended that with “Well, not this house exactly, but you know…wherever you are Mom”. I’ve tried really hard to keep the dynamic good and flowing with her Dad so she has the freedom to choose where to be pretty much and so she’s happy at both places. We just bought her a fan for her Daddy’s house, because she needs one in her room to sleep and got an alarm clock because she likes to see what time it is when she wakes in the night there. We tried to think of what she could do to help fall asleep when those panicky times came, and the best I could come up with was that she should probably turn the TV off because it really overstimulates us and maybe read instead. Fall asleep with the book and the light on if need be. She thought that might be worth trying. Have I mentioned how much I love being with this little girl?