Yesterday the universe seemed intent on reminding me of exactly where my life stood…yeah, like I was endanger of forgetting.
The morning started a little rocky. Handling hard conversations, attorney issues and general divorce related stuff is not easy. It’s especially not easy on a Monday. These things are especially worse on a Monday after spending the weekend without my baby girl. You get the idea. It was not a great day to begin with. To distract myself I cranked up my phone and let the music quiet the noises in my head. Without much drama, I skipped a few songs that made my heart skip a beat. Mostly I just hummed along and got lost in my little work world. I was literally rockin’ and rollin’ thru the day.
Until, at the end of the day, after everyone had gone, came the trifecta of pain. Individually the songs can sting a bit but it’s a manageable hurt. Together– not quite so easy to handle.
Lover, Lover played first. I love that song. I love Jerrod Niemann’s voice. It’s unique and immediately makes my ears perk up. As soon as they perked up I heard the line ‘I know you used to love me but that was yesterday’ and ‘you don’t treat me no good no more’. It was like replaying one of the hard conversations from the morning. I couldn’t help it. I hit rewind (I am showing my age here) and played it again. Yep. Hurt just as bad the second time. Just to be sure I went ahead and allowed it to play again.
Midway through the 3rd version of the song I began packing up for the day. Then I heard Jerrod’s voice again. Evidently I’d hit some genius playlist that was playing artist together. Didn’t feel genius to me. What do you want from me? begins to play. It’s a haunting song (okay that might be a little too dramatic and cheesy) about the pain of one person continually reminding the other of what used to be. Right out of the box comes the 1-2 punch. ‘Don’t you know what it does to me to see your number on my phone.’ Ouch. ‘Are you trying to bring back the tears or just the memories? You keep takin’ me back, takin’ me back to where I’ve already been’. Been there, done that.
Song ended. Next song plays: Hwy 20 Ride. Day-yum. It was my undoing. It’s just a song about a dad driving I-20 for his weekends with his son. No biggie. Right? Wrong. Hwy 20 was the interstate we used to get from my house to his. We’d driven I-20 for years—together. That was okay. That part I could handle but we’d heard that song on our I-20 rides and had talked about how bad it would suck to only see your child every other weekend. During one particular argument that involved I-20 and Alabama I had changed his ringtone to be that song. It was silly but it got me over the little tiff.
Rogers & Hammerstein would be proud. My life had just been summed up in music. Too bad it wasn’t jaunty little show tunes.
All the way home I dodge songs that hurt, Learning How to Live Alone and First Time Ever I Saw Her Face and they entire Jay Nash album get skipped before the 2nd bar plays. Good lord. I can’t seem to get out of my own way today.
Pity—Party of 1 your table is ready.
That was a warning. Quit reading now. By now I have worked myself up to a state. A sad state. It doesn’t get better.
I tried to shuck off the mood as I picked up baby girl, I really did. She promptly asked if it was a blue day. I blurted “Yes” because by this point I was pretty ‘blue’. I am touched she noticed. But then she does her little wiggle dance and shouts, “WAHOO!” Oh crap. Blue is the COLOR we use to distinguish daddy days. My astute girl wasn’t asking about my emotions…she was asking if she saw her daddy today. And I had answered incorrectly. Trying to explain to a 4 year old that it was a blue day because you were SAD not because it was a daddy day isn’t easy. In fact it’s impossible. Totally my bad as they say. I had been using the calendar religiously so she understood that she would see her daddy and when she would see her daddy. We checked the calendar every morning and every night. “Blue days are daddy days’” I would say each time we looked. GRREEEAAATTTT. I couldn’t even blame anyone else for this particular snafu. My trying to explain just made it worse. By the time we left school we are both slightly teary eyed. I was sad because it really was a blue day and she was sad because it wasn’t.
It was, however, softball day. Baby girl wanted to practice with her brother. Great idea—I encourage this—it makes her happy and I would like to make her happy after making her sad a few moments ago. It’s also a great distraction for all of us. Big girl practices, Mom visits with her friends and big boy entertains baby girl. Win-win-win. Then, hello universe I get it already, I realize her bat, glove and ball are up the street at her daddy’s house.
Needless to say I was in a great frame of mind when the quick argument with first baby daddy occurred. It’s a sad state of affairs when you have to number your baby daddy’s to keep them straight. Our son has been asked to swim and dive as a freshman. Cool, right? I thought so. Issue: paying for both and transportation to both. I happen to think it’s a good problem to be faced with but #1 scoffed. Scoffed at helping and scoffed at his ability. Irked is an understatement. I left the argument alone. But then he had the audacity to make fun of big girl when she missed a ball in the outfield. All around us Daddy’s are coaching their daughters. Each field has a dad and a child doing some sense of practice. My big girl drops the ball and all I can think is, “she doesn’t have anyone to practice with. It’s my fault she dropped that ball…it’s my fault she doesn’t have anyone to practice with.”
I shake my head to clear the woe is me feeling and focused on the conversations around me. Unfortunately the conversation is about downsizing. A friend of mine is selling her beautiful home and moving to something a little smaller. Pity—Party of 1 your table is ready. My thoughts immediately went to my beautiful home that I won’t be able to sell and to the reality of just how far we’ve downsized. I burst into tears. Oh great. Way to earn that drama queen title. I am tired, lonely and my head has been pounding for a month. I am overwrought with big decisions that I have to make…BY MYSELF. I know- I know…pity party-table for 1. To make matters worse the conversation moved on to some tragic events that had happened in our community. Hearing about those made me feel guilty for being sad. Now I am embarrassed, sad and guilty. I am a train wreck.
Evidentially I quit sniffling and got myself together-just as practice is over. We make it to the car where someone asks, “New car?” If you read HUMILTY you’ll know that it’s not a popular question with me. I nod. “Is this even big enough for y’all?” they say incredulously. I resist the urge to be a smart-aleck. Instead I simply say, “We’ve gotten good at being real close to each other.” I jump in my SMALL car and zoom away. Now I am embarrassed, sad, guilty and doubting my choice in transportation.
Baby girl is whiny, big girl rode home with her daddy and big boy is asking what’s for dinner. In all fairness to the question and the whining-it was 8:35 p.m. and it’s not like dinner is going to be waiting on us. I fret and stew a bit about dinner. I can’t just hit a drive thru but I need something quick. “Pancakes!” I announce. Boy nods and girl quits whining for a second. I am feeling quite good about myself until I realized that I didn’t have custody of the skillet that would allow me to crank out pancakes in 1 round. I swallow my pride and call to ask for it. It is now 8:50 p.m. there is no time to let pride get in the way of a quick dinner. We do a drive by and the skillet is quickly placed in my hands. Not before baby girl dissolves in tears.
Big boy helps baby girl wash her hair so I can make pancakes. He has her laughing by the end—for which I am eternally grateful. The Big girls senses the mood and for once has the sense to NOT poke the bear. Instead she raves about what a good cook I am and that these pancakes are delicious. Dryly I tell her I appreciate the effort but it is a mix that I literally just had to add water too. We manage a dinner at the table, despite the late hour. So things are better until I can’t program a channel on the ROKU and the first t-shirt I pick up to sleep in was one that wasn’t originally mine.
And so the day ended as it began…with stark reminders the reality of my life.