By Tracy M
I suppose I should have known better. My morning was hellish already, since my soon-to-be-ex-husband disconnected the phone, television and internet without telling me. Try fixing something without a phone or the internet sometime. Just try. It can be done, but it’s a many-hours of difficulty, straining-patience type of thing. But besides that, we had a baptism to go to this morning. At 10 o’clock. In my old ward. The one where the Bishop once explicitly forbade me from even mentioning the word “divorce”.
The kids are with me 24/7 these days. I’m not complaining- but I want to be clear that my divorce is not a standard one where dad is still a functioning, support-providing presence. My kids don’t get to spend alternate weekends with him. They don’t get to see him one or two days during the week. There is no child-support. There is nothing. It’s all me, and all them, all the time.
Getting everyone ready for the baptism wasn’t the worst thing I’ve had to do this week- that will be tomorrow when we switch to 9 a.m. church, both boys are giving talks, it’s Abby’s first day as a Sunbeam, and I have a new class of young men and women for Sunday School. But it was close. Add that to the fact we had no TV and thus no Saturday morning cartoons, and it was a bucket of fun. We got there, and we got there on time.
My second (or third? or fourth?) mistake was letting the kids pick where to sit. They picked the front row. And were I thinking more clearly, I would have ixnayed that idea and shoved everyone to the back, but I just wanted to sit down and be quiet for a moment. People kept asking me how I was… and my old Bishop shook my hand and was cordial. The shock-waves of a divorce ripple so much farther than the nuclear family they rip apart. Anyway…
The kids were atrocious. Beanie was horrendous, and Abby was worse. They were fighting, poking, sticking, pinching and nipping at each other. The child on my lap was a constant rotation of who was acting worse, and there we were in the front row for all to marvel at. My face stung and flushed with embarrassment as my six-year old, who should really know better, began banging on the back of the piano during a musical number, and I had to grab him and exit. He went limp like a wet noodle of course, and I half-dragged him from the room. My eyes filled with hot, humiliated tears.
Abby continued to be a beast, and I had to pull her during the talk on the Holy Ghost, and I spent the rest of the baptism in the foyer with each kid on opposing chairs. Jeffrey managed to behave well alone.
When it was over, I made a hasty exit and banished everyone to their rooms as soon as we got home. I then spent the next two hours trying to get the phone, internet and television services back on, and was only able to do because I got a really nice tech who disregarded that my ex had removed my name from all the accounts.
I know I can do this. I know I can survive. But right now, I feel like Rocky, all bloodied and swollen, peeling himself up from the mat, and clinging to the ropes. I’m standing… if you can call it that.
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