The same but different. The same: I still see my kids everyday, I get to bath them and tuck them in everynight with their favorite story and wake up to those smiling faces in the morning. Different: I don’t see them every weekend, only every other. I get home and have to rush to make dinner, do homework, feed and walk the dogs, bath the kids, read the stories and get them ready for the next day, all on my own. But… I wouldn’t want it any other way.
The worst part about going through a divorce is trying to help my 5 year old understand the “why”. I bought the books, we tried talking him through it and tried to make the transition as smooth as possible, but it definitely did not go as smooth as I wanted it to. My ex wanted to sell the house immediately and I agreed at first but then asked him to wait it out until Johnny finished his Kindergarten year. His answer to that was to stay in the guest room, indefinitely. This ended up confusing Johnny. In his little head, he was probably wondering, “why did mommy and daddy say they weren’t going to live together but still are?…. Why does daddy leave every weekend and we go with him to Nani’s house?….” It was extremely frustrating, the energy in the house was awful and that emotional rollercoaster that I was on, now had Johnny buckled in with me.
I had no choice at this point but to do what was best for my littles and that was to find my own place, in a good school district, that took in a single mama, 2 kids and 2 pups. In Westchester County, that’s pretty much like catching Santa fly his sleigh on Christmas night. I saw a couple of apartments, a lot of apartments and nothing was all of what I was looking for until I found “THE ONE”. I wanted “the one” but the real estate agent told me it was going into contract. At that point, I decided to just leave it in Gods hands. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to move out? Maybe Johnny would slowly understand, maybe the energy in the house would slowly get better? Then I got a phone call on Halloween night.
Halloween. The same but different. The same: my family came over, saw the kids and came trick or treating with us. Different: no matching “family” costumes this year, Johnny asking why daddy wasn’t going through the neighborhood with us and me alone at the end of the night eating all the candy. So, it was a mix of emotions. None of regret but full of sadness for my boys. No one goes into marriage thinking that they’ll have kids and then break their little hearts when a divorce comes and that they will now have to deal with “the different” too.
Happiness came at the end of that night, THE phone call. As I was digging into the halloween bag looking for more reese’s peanut butter cups, the real estate agent from “the one” called and told me the townhouse was back on the market. Without hesitation, a mouth full of chocolate, I said, “YES!” The very next day, I went it see it and signed contracts on the spot. It was mine. Mine and the boys. A new chapter, a new adventure, a fresh start.
The next couple of days was crazy. I started to pack our life up. The moving truck came, took the furniture and that was it. We were moved in. It all happened so fast but I can replay everything in my head in slow motion. The same: the look of the house, the furniture was now in the new townhouse. I wanted the boys to feel at home. It’s in a different house but it was still their home. The different: their father wasn’t here. It was officially just the 3 of us and of course, Louie & Lenny.
And SO… A new chapter begins. It’s exciting, exhausting, overwhelming and exhilarating.
Different can be scary, change is scary. But living in a life where the “same” never changes, especially when it NEEDS TO; can be even scarier. I’m ready for different.