|This is an emergency post - hence the fire extinguisher.|
As I mentioned in my It's OK Thursday post earlier, tomorrow (now today for most of you reading) would have been my 15th wedding anniversary. I have been trying not to think about it, because if I wallow in that Patty Griffin song anymore, my friends are going to stage an intervention.
Because I had Tweak and Tink for a big chunk of time for vacation last week, they've been with their dad for a few days straight. We talk on the phone every night when we're not together, and I was enjoying hearing about Tink's loose tooth, the awesomeness of the U.S. women winning gold in soccer (at one point while describing it, Tink reached a frequency only dogs could hear), and how much Tweak was enjoying Space Explorer camp.
Suddenly, out of the blue, Tweak said, "Mommy, it's your and Daddy's anniversary tomorrow! Please have Shabbat dinner with us! We'll have a surprise for you!"
I had to sit down. I hadn't told them it would have been our anniversary. I have been clear with the kids that although their dad and I are friends and respect each other and are raising them together as a team, we are not going to get back together. I know from reading about children from divorced families that reconciliation is a fantasy that many carry even into adulthood. While I hate to tell my children things they don't want to hear, it's important to be truthful with them.
At the same time, we do periodically do things together as a foursome. Holiday celebrations, sports events, dance recitals, scout outings, and sometimes just logistics dictate that we spend time together as a family. I'm OK with that. The focus is on the kids, who we both love beyond all reason, and they need to see us having positive interactions so that they don't feel pressured to take sides. My ex is smart, funny, and a good conversationalist. It has been so long since we separated that usually it isn't even awkward anymore. We'd discussed earlier today that we would have Shabbat dinner together tomorrow night because I can't take the kids for the night as I normally would due to work obligations on Saturday morning.
But now this. I e-mailed my ex to ask why (in the hell) Tweak knew it was our anniversary (I don't even remember exactly the date of my own parents' anniversary, and they're still married!), and telling him what Tweak said. He said that he'd mentioned it in passing while Tweak was reading dates off a calendar, and he had no idea Tweak would even make a note of it, much less try to do anything to commemorate it.
Setting aside the fact that he should have known better than to mention it in the first place, what (in the hell) do I do? Do I show up and endure whatever the kids come up with? Do I indicate that it isn't appropriate to do anything for the anniversary of people who are no longer married? Do I beg out of having dinner with my children even though I desperately want to see them? I have all of tomorrow to develop a game plan, but I think the first duty lies with the ex to manage their expectations. Unfortunately, I don't think I can count on that.
Perhaps this does qualify for Throat-Punch Thursday, or by now would that be WTF Friday?