Most of the time, I’m okay with the custody arrangement that my ex and I have. We have a 50-50 split, and there’s a lot of back and forth between our two houses, but this is the way we’ve always done it and the girls seem to be okay with it, since they’re close to both us.
The only exception to this are our vacation weeks, when we each generally have the girls each for an entire week. Post-wedding, CBG and I had all four of our kiddos for a whole week of family fun. It was busy, hectic, and absolutely awesome in so many ways. We took several day trips, had some couch-snuggling-watching-tv-together time, silliness, and lots and lots of laughs. It was an all-around great week.
Saturday morning the girls went back with their dad for the weekend. CBG and I went out for some usual Farmer’s Market fun, and when we came home, despite his daughter Rugrat still being around, our house felt empty and lonely without my girls being there. I found Kiddo’s ratty stuffed bunny on the couch. I pulled it next to me and hugged it into my face, feeling suddenly very lonely, despite CBG sitting right there beside me. There’s always this familiar ache that settles over me when my girls are first gone after an extended period of time with me. My arms get used to having them there to hug whenever I want – snuggles on demand, random kisses throughout the day, giddy laughter filling up the house, that “kid smell” surrounding me everywhere.
I know that their dad loves them tremendously and they have a good relationship with him. I would never want to deny them that special “daddy-daughter time” that they all enjoy so much, despite the ache that I feel when they’re not here with me. But there is still that slightly selfish part of me that wants to scoop them up and keep them all to myself, because that ache, when I allow myself to fully feel it, is almost too much to bear some days. Even now, after dealing with this arrangement for the last almost five years.
But I know that this ache is one that I need to accept, for the sake of my girls. They’ve been asked to bend and sacrifice in a lot of ways in their short lives; carrying this weight is the least that I can do.
How lucky they are to be so very loved by both of their parents.