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Three days I don't want to wish away - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Three days I don't want to wish away [Apr. 21st, 2004|10:43 am]
Zoethe
[Current Mood |excitedexcited]

theferrett has posted a message behind a cut regarding my upcoming birthday party, which I am not to click. I am, honestly, wildly curious and yet not even tempted - I love surprises and as a kid never snuck into the closet where the Christmas prezzies were hidden.

For the first time since I turned 40 I am actually excited about my birthday and anxious for it to come. The intervening years have been noneventful, birthday party-wise.

And yet, I do not wish to rush this week. Amy is here and it is so wonderful having her around, but she goes back on Saturday. I want this week to last and last.

It's brutally tough not having her here with us, and it would be phenominally selfish for me to do anything about it. Amy's dad and stepmom are terrific parents, who have the time to take her to soccer and softball and basketball and flute and voice lessons. Monday and Tuesday were like a demo tape of how impossible my life is - leave early and don't come home until late and just barely time for a few minutes with her. If she was in school, rather than on break, she would have been finishing homework and getting ready for bed by the time I got home.

She deserves better parenting than what we can give her.

When I finish school, Amy will be finishing junior highschool. That point is a good place to give her the choice of whether she wants to come live with us or stay on Cape Cod. The reality is, though, that by then she may well be so settled into that community, so entrenched in activities, and have so many friends, that she will not want to start over.

Her happiness is paramount. My own wish that she will live with me, subsidiary. Whatever she chooses, we will make the best of it. And now I'm going to go enjoy her company.
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Comments:
From: dusty668
2004-04-21 03:02 pm (UTC)
Wish my folks had a tad of what you have in the wisdom department.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:09 pm (UTC)
Some people would not call it wisdom. Some would not even call it right. I have moments when I falter, or second guess myself. But when I think it all through I know that I have to buck tradition and do what is right for her, rather than worry about how people think of me.
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From: dusty668
2004-04-21 03:12 pm (UTC)
I call it wisdom. Or love, putting her best before your desires. Those that would not call it right, I don't think I would enjoy being with.
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[User Picture]From: branwynrillia
2004-04-21 03:16 pm (UTC)
I agree. I wish more parents would put their children's best interests foremost, and consider where they'll have the best care, as opposed to what the parent really wants... =o(
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2004-04-21 03:37 pm (UTC)
It's not just the parents -- a parent who willfully lets the other parent have primary custody (permanently or temporarily) can sometimes take a lot of flack, especially a mother.

I got a lot when my husband and I were seperated. She was just better off with him. But I was some horrible mother who obviously didn't love her daughter.

As if I WANTED to be seperated from her. But what kept me going was that she was better off with him, screw what everyone else had to say. She came first.

zoethe is a very strong mom to do that, and a very wise one.
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[User Picture]From: branwynrillia
2004-04-21 03:42 pm (UTC)
I'm...sorta in that position now. Except that I AM the horrible mother. Because I didn't, and still don't feel that my youngest daughter is better off with her father. But, as I'm pregnant now...and having a LOT of problems with it, to the point I'm nearly on bed rest to increase the chances that I hold on to the baby as long as possible...I gave in to her father's threats and harassment. I chose between my children...and I will never forgive myself for that. If it wasn't for the fact that he lives with his parents, who I KNOW...as much as I don't like them...will see that she IS taken care of well...I wouldn't have even done that.

It was a choice between letting her go, and living with it, or risking the loss of the baby AND everyone else in the household's misery because of the fighting and harassment. Any of the flack I get, I deserve. Really IRKS me when people who don't deserve it, get it anyway.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 04:17 pm (UTC)
You are saddled with hard choices. That's a terrible place to be. Life is about compromises, some more by choice than others. I made the choice to come to Cleveland to pursue career goals, which led to Amy being with her father. I made that choice freely; yours have been foisted upon you by circumstance. And they are much more temporary. Take heart. I still think you are a good mother.
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[User Picture]From: kibbles
2004-04-21 04:25 pm (UTC)
But you said she will be taken care of well -- and that's important. You said you wouldn't have even done that. So as less than ideal the situation is, you made a judgement call on what was in the best interests of your family, of all the available choices. If you don't HAVE a lot of choices, you can't make an amazingly wonderful one that doesn't exist, you know?

And yeah, in my case, it wasn't even so much that my husband was better, but that my mother and his aunt were better. And I knew that was where she would be most of the time.

I hope your pregnancy goes to term, goes well, and you can find more doors open for you in the future.

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[User Picture]From: blazepoet
2004-04-21 03:08 pm (UTC)
And that is what makes you a qualified parent, putting the happiness of Amy above your own needs and desires. Yes it would be nice if she did live with you all the time but you acknowledge her choice in the matter. Which is where so many parents go wrong.

Happy upcoming birthday! Mine is next week as well, happy upcoming birthday! I'm not as excited about mine as you are about yours, but that's because I still have a master's thesis and finals to finish. Ugh, late April birthdays are no fun.

Hang in there, you're going to love the elephant.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:10 pm (UTC)
His name is Stampy. [g]

Yeah, finals are looming for me as well. [shudder]
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2004-04-21 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I'm exactly the same way with secrets! I love them, and bend over backwards not to find out what they are.

Mmmm, yummy, I wish my husband had given me a secret for my birthday! :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:27 pm (UTC)
For a few years Ferrett didn't realize that birthdays were important to me because, well, they aren't as important to me as they are to him.

He's apparently making it up to me this year.

:-D
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2004-04-21 03:31 pm (UTC)
Heh, my husband used to tell me that birthday presents didn't mean much to him. Being as how it's kind of hard for me to shop without him knowing (we don't spend a lot of time apart, and I'm not allowed to drive here), I didn't get him a present. I did dress up and go out with him wearing his favorite dress and stuff, but boy! was he disappointed.

He said something like, since I always talked about how I always get presents, he started to look forward to one. Oops!

So since then, I have gotten much sneakier about shopping. It actually makes it more fun to buy presents when he thinks that there is no way in hell I could have managed _this_ time ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:56 pm (UTC)
It adds to the excitment, that's for sure. I remember going to the mall with the kids last Christmas and distracting Ferrett while they bought him presents. Fun!
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2004-04-21 03:59 pm (UTC)
Shortly before Valentine's Day, my husband had class and I had some errands to run downtown. We were going to meet at the mall.

I got there in plenty of time, picked him out a little gift, and then went into another store to see if they might have something to go along with it.

He tapped me on the shoulder, nearly giving me a heart attack. His class had been cancelled, and he had been wandering around the mall looking for me for nearly the whole time.

This worked out particularly well, because he knew I was looking for a present for him, but he thought he had caught me before I could buy one. But I am far too sneaky for that! Therefore, he was much more surprised on Valentine's Day than he would have been otherwise ;)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 04:18 pm (UTC)
Very clever of you! Rather like me turning last year's Fourth of July concert into a suprise birthday party for Ferrett - he knew he was going to the concert, but had no idea of all the other things planned when he got there.
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[User Picture]From: wolflady26
2004-04-21 04:21 pm (UTC)
Oooh, nifty!

I probably missed reading about that in the whole wedding rush last year, I'll go back and look it up :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 04:37 pm (UTC)
It was great fun. With fireworks and everything!
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2004-04-24 04:04 am (UTC)
He's apparently making it up to me this year.

I kinda hope that I did. Love ya!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-24 05:55 am (UTC)
Beyond, baby. Far beyond.
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[User Picture]From: branwynrillia
2004-04-21 03:17 pm (UTC)
Happy birthday....early...while I can remember to say it. *l* Easier to remember...because mine's today. ^_^
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:28 pm (UTC)
Oh! Happy birthday!! Isn't April the best month of all??? [g]
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[User Picture]From: stormy_brow
2004-04-21 03:38 pm (UTC)
I don't know why, exactly, but this post is making me weepy. It's touching to know that you care about her, and that you're interested in her happiness, and that you are enjoying her company. I hope that she knows those things, too. I never knew that sort of thing when I was going back and forth between parents.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 03:58 pm (UTC)
My kids are very lucky to have four loving parents who care about them more than life itself, and who all work hard at getting along and not having issues between us that get transferred to the kids. I get along well with my ex now, and think his wife is terrific, and even though they are more judgmental by nature, they have learned not to say things dissing us, either. We are all working hard to put the kids first.
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[User Picture]From: call_me_harmony
2004-04-21 04:51 pm (UTC)
And this is what makes you all such good parents. It can't be easy, especially when she goes away after spending a few days with you but you know you are doing what's best for her.
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[User Picture]From: lothie
2004-04-21 04:22 pm (UTC)
You sound like me, regarding Cherry. *sigh*

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 04:37 pm (UTC)
Hugs
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[User Picture]From: ashna
2004-04-22 01:36 am (UTC)
I want to make one of those faces in you icon. Where are they?

>.>
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[User Picture]From: donkey_hokey
2004-04-21 04:25 pm (UTC)
"She deserves better parenting than what we can give her."

This isn't true; at least I don't think so. I'll add my voice to the chorus of those that think you're doing a great job.

I'm jealous of the way that Amy may never know, in any deep-seated meaningful way, just how lucky she is with her family situation, with two sets of parents that care for her so deeply.

I hope you have a good time with her.

Oh, and an early happy birthday wish, too.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-21 07:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all that. It's not always easy to remember that I'm doing the right thing.
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[User Picture]From: kid_lit_fan
2004-04-21 06:10 pm (UTC)
She deserves better parenting than what we can give her.

You and theferrett would probably give her better parenting than a lot of the "parents" out there (alt.support.childfree calls that type BNPs--Breeders, Not Parents. They want baybeees, but forget about the hard parts, so a lot of people take up a lot of slack.) However, it's impressive that you realize that her dad and stepmom can do an even better job. Good going.

I think I'm usually a pretty good parent, but you've inspired me to stay off the computer and spend a little quality time with DD Catherine after school.

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-22 12:20 am (UTC)
Glad I inspired you. We have had a wonderful day together....
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[User Picture]From: technomom
2004-04-21 08:27 pm (UTC)
I had to make that kind of choice - although it wasn't entirely up to me. While I hated every minute of the years I didn't get to live with shadowkatt, I also knew that her father was able to give her far more economic stability and benefits I couldn't afford. I spoke to her absolutely every day, no matter where I was or what I was doing. I took every minute of time I could get with her, as did my family.

I still have some regrets, but it doesn't do any good to dwell on them.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-22 12:27 am (UTC)
Thank you. It's good to know that I'm not alone.
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[User Picture]From: rhapsody_98
2004-04-21 09:28 pm (UTC)
Gini, I'm so proud of you because of how well you've managed an extended family. Just seeing that someone can admit that their children may be better off with the ex show that there is no bitterness at all, which can poison the kids against their parents. My cousins parents were best friends after their divorce, and he was raised in a loving household that just happened to have two houses. With my parents, we lived in a constant state of fighting so bad, that I wished they would get divorced. Your kids are lucky!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2004-04-22 12:32 am (UTC)
My kids are primary. In the beginning I swallowed a lot of shit in order to create a good relationship with them - and I know that they would say they did the same.

We are very different people with two precious lives in common. I feel blessed that everyone involved understands that now.
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[User Picture]From: dandelion_diva
2004-04-22 03:43 am (UTC)
Her happiness is paramount. My own wish that she will live with me, subsidiary. Whatever she chooses, we will make the best of it. And now I'm going to go enjoy her company.

That, right there, tells me that you're a good and caring parent. :)

Hope you're having fun.

Gessi
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2004-04-23 03:47 pm (UTC)
Amy's a lucky girl. Very few parents are able to put their children's needs above their own desires.

Enjoy your time with her and your birthday.
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