Six years after my divorce, my ex and I still struggle to get along. Now that I am no longer the peace keeper, now that I don’t always bend to his will and now that I actually say what’s on my mind sometimes things can get quite challenging. Our most recent disagreement revolved around his promise to the girls to take them on vacation, and his unwillingness to do it when the time came. He had plenty of “reasons” why he couldn’t follow through, but ultimately it was simply because it was easier for him to go without them.
This was a challenging situation for me. Our parenting agreement basically states that every month he gets to decide when he will have them. Because he’s a pilot he doesn’t have a set schedule and so I don’t have a lot of options. I have fought for more stability for the girls regarding the schedule, but even in mediation I lost. For some reason this arrangement seems reasonable to people who don’t have to live with the consequences of it.
So with only a few days notice I discovered that at the very beginning of summer vacation, when the kids had absolutely nothing to do, they would be with me for almost 2 weeks. I know there is nothing wrong with leaving my kids home alone during the day while I work. They are (almost) 12 and 13. They are responsible and mature for their age. I wasn’t worried about their safety but I hate the idea of them just idly passing time…at least that much time.
I have a long vacation already planned for the end of summer and so I didn’t have a lot of time that I could take off from work. I had originally planned to take my vacation during this time but for a lot of reasons the end of the summer worked out better.
I needed a solution. And that’s how I found myself on a road trip to Georgia with a car full of kids. That’s how I find myself being able to write this post surrounded by the woods as the sun comes up behind the trees, one of my favorite places to be.
Our vacation here will span over my work from home day, extending our stay to a very reasonable 4 nights. We all get to connect with nature, explore a new place and in general enjoy being together. Because I brought their friends they will have an easy time occupying themselves part of the time while I’m working or writing or just relaxing on the porch listening to nature.
It’s an elegant solution for all of us and now I’m grateful my ex changed his plans.
This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Elegant