Diapers and Dragons

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In the Waiting Line

By mutual agreement and mostly because I am the one with the most time on weekday afternoons to actually get Official Things Done, I was the one who filed for divorce. By a strange concatenation of events, I filed yesterday, on the fourtheenth anniversary of when our relationship began. As if that were not ironic enough, I filed divorce papers approximately five yards from the counter where almost exactly eight years ago I filed the paperwork for our legal marriage ceremony, which took place eight years ago two days from now.

It felt surreal.

I don't quite know how else to explain it. I wasn't quite depressed. I wasn't joyful, either. I was mostly shaky, because now the wheels are set in motion. I watched the clerk stamp the papers and saw that already, just like that, we have been assigned dates for the two major hearings we must attend before the decree can be handed down in six months. I could see the great machinery of government grinding its gears, catching us up in its deceptively ponderous motion. The potential energy of our divorce turned kinetic in a matter of fifteen minutes.

I walked out the door, shaky and a little stunned, and sent a text to about a dozen people. I just walked out of the court house. I have officially filed for divorce, I said, the words stark on the electronic screen. Within moments, the texts started rolling in. A few were congratulatory; most were concerned.

Are you ok?
How do you feel?
Wow. (((hugs)))

I went back to the house and collapsed on the bed after lugging all my stuff inside--it was another "toggle"* day. I talked to a few people on the phone. I tweeted and Facebooked about how weird I felt, and how I had no idea what to make for dinner because I had no money and no energy and no desire to cook. I shored myself up, gradually feeling my head straighten out and my mood lighten.

Then I went and picked up my two little boys, who were very happy to see me and amazingly well-behaved and so polite about asking if they could eat food from "Old MacDonald's" that I succumbed after two seconds and agreed. So we swung through the drive-through to pick up a ten-piece McNugget meal. The boys devoured the chicken and some of the fries; I ate the rest of the fries and drank the Coke. It was a proud mommying moment. It was a very real single-mommying moment. And we snuggled on the couch watching the Backyardigans, which stretched from one episode to two before we went upstairs to get the boys to bed.

I did no grading last night.

This morning the boys were so cooperative that we got out the door only fifty minutes after I woke up. When I arrived at work, my darling mentee S. walked into my room with a bag of mini biscuit pizza makings for the boys and another of fancy pasta makings and French bread for me. Supper is set for tonight. I have friends already working on plans to get together for GNOs in the next few weeks. The love is rolling in.

It still feels surreal. A part of me is grieving the loss of something that was and always will be an enormous part of my life. We will always be tied together by that time and by our children. Another part of me is simply impatient to Get Through It All and Get On With Things. The largest part of me is simply lying quiet, watching warily from a corner, unsure of this new and uncertain future that looms in front of me.

Yeah. November sucks.


Any instruction that works first one way and then the other; it turns something on the first time it is used and then turns it off the next time
Classified under:
Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
Hypernyms ("toggle" is a kind of...):
command; instruction; program line; statement ((computer science) a line of code written as part of a computer program)

Use in this context: 
A day in which custody and residence switches between the two parents

10 bits of love:

marymac said...

Your writing is honest and amazing and i can't thank you enough for taking time out of your own bad day to come over and cheer ME up for a much less important thing. wow. you are amazing. Sometimes Old McDonalds is just what the doctor ordered. You are blessed to have two amazing boys who have such a fantastic mom. Hang in there. The blogosphere is here for you and we love you!

Arby said...

You are reminding me of a whole bunch of feelings that I experienced 15 years ago, albeit sans children. October 20th would have been my 19th anniversary for my first marriage. Life is far better now than it was then. You are experiencing a lot of new and uncomfortable and painful emotions, and you will for a long time. You have to go through it. You cannot avoid it. It will suck. And it will get better. There’s no magic answer for this situation. To the best of your ability, live your life prayerfully and honestly, one day at a time. Live it one minute at a time, if that is all that you can handle. The suckiest part is that it takes a lot of time to heal, but heal you will.

Dad said...

I love you and he-who-was and the kidletts.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Your blog is so honest and amazing. I know how hard you tried to not get to this point, and I'm sad for you that it has arrived. But you are also facing forwards and being so postive. You are amazing. x

Sue said...

You are a step ahead of me. I am currently separated, but have not committed to the filing part yet. Not really sure what I am waiting for since it is inevitable. Your boys are beautiful and will pull you through. Hang in there!

mom said...

Sorry, hon, for how hard it is, and that it has come to this. GIST: the kidlets being so polite and cooperative. Your mentee providing sustenance at just the right time. Text messaging. Blogging. The support that comes. Way over here, I'm feeling the part of you watching from the corner. The ironies you noticed today are uncanny.
As you know, we[re praying for you. As Arby said, live your life prayerfully. Hang on to the Hands that don't let go!

Todd said...


For the record, if there were a "right way" for divorce, you would be doing everything that way.

I hadn't heard the term "Toggle day" before. I'm hoping that I start having those again soon.

GingerB said...

Oh, TeacherMommy, I am so sorry you are in the throes of total turmoil like this. But like your other commenters, I want to tell you that you and he-who-was are amazing in how you are handling this.

donna said...

Hi there, found your blog through some very roundabout way. This post struck a chord with me. After three months of separation, my husband just told me that he wants a divorce. I'm struggling with so many aspects, not the least of which is that I love him and don't want to divorce, but also how to be an effective parent when I'm alone and lonely and heartbroken. Reading your posts is helping me see that it will happen. So thanks.

Erin said...

Hang in there. I have absolutely no idea what you are going through, but it sounds like you are getting through it the best you can under the circumstances. I am thinking about you and sending happy thoughts your way.

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