So, scroll back down to my posts of this subject last year - I was consumed with bitterness about my kids being taken from me, and missing everything about living full time with them - the house seemed so empty and I was at a complete loss of what to do - I had been a hands on father for 10 years, and suddenly this was torn from under me, and I was absolutely lost. A lot changed last year, read the posts to catch up, if you wish.
Now back to the present. Just had a whole three days with them, and they are now back at school, and with their mother and D again. and on the drive back home last night, I fell into contemplation and I wish to share it.
Firstly, I do miss the "normal" side of life with them - the rushing around to go to school, them comming out of school, talking about their day, their life in that environment, more than anything. D has that role in their lives now, and yes, I still have a certain amount of resentment, but it is not the all consuming emotion that it was a year ago.
I have had to change my attitude a lot last year, have had to learn to accept my new role, and move forward with it. I now see them every other weekend, and longer periods in school holidays. a year ago, that would have been unthinkable, now, being more than it has been, I am pleased with the arrangement.
I have got used to my life without them, I have moved on from that ball of anger last year, and have firmly planted my life in other directions - living live for me more and more (this was one of my goals last year, at the start .. I HAVE acheived one of them wooo hoo) and they come in like whirwinds, and for a short while, I am back living purely for them again, and then the blaze out, and although I miss them all the time, I am beginning to enjoy the fact that I can "give them back"
Ii still do the same things with them that I used to do most weekends - take them out walking, take them too places of interest - not just mindless entertainment places, but places that can give them a chance to do some learning about the world, or history, nature, that sort of thing. so that side of me hasn't changed. I am also learning something that I didn't have before - that just "hanging with them" is fun, not really rushing around, just chilling in the flat, and enjoying their company. Something hit me last night, I don't know weather it is the distance, or the counselling, or the fight I had to get this time with them (I refuse to use the "access" word see last years posts for why) or a combination of all three, but I have more patience with them now, and I AM A BETTER FATHER! than I was when I was concerned with being the breadwinner, a good husband and a father at the same time. They are responding to that well.(I think another reason is because I am not concerned with being in a failing relationship with the ex, I have more of my headspace to give to them)
So yes, now, 14 months on, I think that the whole split was a good thing for all of us. the four of us are much happier now, and have more time for each other, and we all have good hands in that respect.
SO am I going to have to rename this blog? Has the game finished, the pack put away for another time? NO is the simple answer to that. Life is still trying to hand me a bad hand from time to time, still trying to get a ref for my Uni app, (why is that so hard?) and a change is probation officers due to my move all mean that I still need to cheat at this game, In order to make sure that I come out on top, in the best way that I can. "The pack's been shuffled, we've all got different hands"* and a new game has begun. Come on life, I challenge you.
*new model army, bury the hatchet.