I’ve been combing through my blogs to pull together the best ones for an anthology to be published later this year. So far, I’ve completed all of 2008, and wow, walking down my old dusty paths was heart-wrenching.
That was the year I got divorced.
Shaya was still a baby, and Eliana and Asher wore the innocence of young childhood. Beautiful, eager, sweet babies of mine. I wrote a lot about them snuggling in bed next to me, shoving me to the corner of the mattress, spreading their arms out wide like wings against the sheets, secure in the sleep of children loved deeply by their mother.
I read blogs about the peaceful dissolution of my marriage, the kind words my ex and I had for one another. Where have they disappeared to? Just last night, we were texting late into the darkness fighting again, fighting again, stupid stupid stupid.
When will we grow up? When will we make peace with the way our lives have turned out? When will we truly wish each other well?
I still love my children from the depths of my soul. I remain in awe of the sheer joy and good fortune that I am their mother. And I still miss them deeply when we are apart.
It’s an awful thing to be steadily hated by someone you used to love. And who used to love you. But that love is such a distant memory, it doesn’t seem like it ever existed.
I know that hate is a strong emotion that comes from an underlying sadness. I know that. But it doesn’t make the venom any less vicious.
The switch turns from love to hate in a blinding flash. It is so easy to go from loving someone to being infuriated by them.
Yesterday, Shaya and I spent the day at Greenfield Village, walking hand-in-hand, talking, basking in the summer sunshine. Eliana has had a double ear infection since Friday, and she’s been hugging me a lot. Oh how I’ve missed my girl. The tween-age angst has reigned supreme these last months, and I could hold her in a warm hug for days on end.
And my Asher, my big boy, still my little boy, still my sweet son. The older they get, the more I cling to these moments and listen sharply to their beautiful words. Their love lives in every breath; the beauty of a child is in the way he greets life with such enthusiasm. The hardness, the distance, that comes only when you force it, and all I want is to pull these three sweet souls close and bask in their radiance forever.
Dan and I started rowing at Belle Isle this month, and last night we finally got in the water. It was a slow start, finally putting these strokes we’d learned into action in the water. I dipped the tip of my oar into the war and went through the motion as they’d taught us in the Boat Club.
Somehow, my strength wasn’t enough. I kept getting caught in the water, hitting into my chest with the end of the oar. The motion wasn’t fluid. The effort wasn’t enough.
Such a swift motion, so quickly passing me by, and I wasn’t doing it right. Stop, look, do it again. Try again. Go through each piece of the stroke until you get it right.
Back in the Boat Club, I hit the 16 strokes per minute pace in rhythm with my peers, and fell into the zone of movement that happens when you’re moving forward and back, forward and back. Outside the tall old windows, the rich waters of the Detroit River gleamed with the setting sun.