My ex-wife walked out over three years ago, and we’ve had joint custody since. When she left, the boys (ages three and five) spent their first night away from their original home. That was painful. They are now ages six and eight, and the pain is as raw as it was day one. Parents of broken homes know this pain.
Each month the boys have x overnights with me and y overnights with their mother. Today I will pick up my boys from school, and they will be with me till eight this evening. On days like these there’s a dark cloud shrouding my soul. Knowing the boys will part peels a scab, and the bleeding returns. Salt is poured in the wound while kissing them goodbye. I have a word to parents with severed marriages.
Cherish EACH day. You identify with Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire when he said, “I need my children like I need air.” You experience the empty-nest-sting on a constant basis. What’s worse is treating our time with our kids like an Israeli attempting to hold manna for one more day. An unnecessary mold comes and worms present themselves. Like sweet honey, enjoy your bite today and comfort yourself with the knowledge you’ll enjoy tomorrow’s manna when it comes. Furthermore, consider a career change.
When my ex-wife announced her departure, I set things in motion to change careers (this was not the primary drive, but I want you to see what happened).
I became a professional speaker and contracted my skills with speaking firms. I limit my time to 8-12 engagements per month. These are days when the boys are already slated to be with their mother. Whether I’m in town or away, my children will not be with me. It hurts to be away, but when I’m home the manna is all the more sweet.
I see my boys when most nine-to-fiver’s don’t see their children. I’ve many lunches with them. The school principal knows my face, and I’m a fixture on the elementary school’s walls. I pick up my boys from school and walk (or drive) them home. I do their homework with them. At night, I often crawl into their beds and snuggle for a few moments. Regularly–before the sun rises–one or both boys crawl into my writing chair with me. We’re together for hours before I drive them to school.
I regularly take them to parks and get on the equipment with them, for this won’t be the case when they’re ages 14 and 16 (we’ll see what we do when that time comes). I take the wise counsel of seizing this day rather than dreading tomorrow.
This career decision involved a massive cut in pay, but I won’t trade what I currently have with my boys for a six (yay seven)-figure salary.
Since my divorce, I’ve been given an A+ bride. She loves my boys as much as I do (do you know how huge that is?). Without her, I cannot do what I’m doing.
If your response is, “Yeah…maybe YOU can do that, but I can’t. If you only understood my situation…”
My friend, we are where we are because we’ve chosen it. The moment we look in the mirror and say, “I am responsible” is the moment we’re liberated to do what’s right.
My heart is full, and I suppose its blood could ink more than what I’ve written.
I hope somehow God uses this.