It is to be expected, that moving an entire coastline away from my children because of issues connected to my divorce, that I would miss certain events in my children’s lives. And under normal circumstances, those absences would be made up within days, or at the least via video for me to witness.
But that has not been the case. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not been able to spend the time I had hoped with my daughters. I am working on it on my end. It has just taken so much longer than I had hoped. It is an uphill struggle, or it definitely is better described as paddling up a creek without the oars. But I definitely believe that everything will work out, and a new “normal” will resolve with my daughters.
Make no mistake. I know the hurt they are feeling as I too was a young child when my parents divorced. And I have taken the same approach that many parents take, and not discussing the many issues of the divorce with my children, or why it has been so long since we have seen each other.
For now, this is how I got to tell them “Happy Birthday.” And it will be the last time that I do it this way. While my older daughter is holding her own with her feelings, seemingly trying to protect both of her parents from hurt, my youngest normally does the same thing. Until yesterday.
I have sent packages containing their presents for holidays and birthdays. I will not let them think for one minute that I have ever forgotten those days, or worse, forgotten them.
But my daughters have an interesting aspect of their personalities. They are not “big ticket” item children. Sure, they love getting the big things, like an xbox360, Ipad, etc., and just like every year before that, but these are novelties that they hear about, and of course, then want. But usually within days, a week at the most, the novelty wears off normally, and they move on to the things that mean something to them.
And that happened last night. I know my daughters had a fun weekend with their mother and as I always encourage them, I told them I was glad. I did not ask them about the gifts that were received for my youngest’s birthday, as I am sure she did quite well. But she did finally open the package that I sent her. And there was a little something extra for her sibling as well, as I am prone to do, something to remind them of our times together, and that someday, it will happen again.
But the contents in this package were quite special. Along with her birthday card, I filled the box with seashells. Not just any seashells, but shells that were collected by them, when they visited with me last summer. When I Facetimed with them last night, it was not the new gifts that my youngest was playing with, but she was actually going through all the shells. When she asked where I got them from, I said they were the shells that she and her sister had collected last year. These were a reminder to her, not only where they came from, but a reminder that their summer visit will be coming up soon.
And I know how much that meant to both of them. And I know how much it means to both of them this summer.