The hard part about seeing your kid every other weekend is not the long amount of time between visits, – although that also sucks – but the five minutes, the tiny of amount of time before you drop them off or they get picked up. It’s a deep, brief feeling of absolute dread. That this is over and that it will be awhile before it happens again. It may never happen again for all you know and the part of your kid’s life where you have a direct influence on is over. For now. It’s like breaking up with your kid and you don’t know if you’ll ever get back together again, every damn time. You know that you will, you say that you will; but it really doesn’t feel like you will. It sucks.
When I was a kid this happened to me. I lived with my dad full-time and saw my mom sometimes. I can remember leaving her place and thinking I’d see her again soon, but I also remember her crying. It seems like she always cried when I left. I would tell her it was okay and that I’d be back soon, but she still cried. I never understood why.
Now I cry.
Not every time, but sometimes. I cry because we should have done more, there should have been more time. I cry because he’s gone and because I know there aren’t that many of these left. I cry because I put him in the life that I never wanted my son to have, the life of an every other weekend kid.
There is nothing wrong with being an every other weekend kid. I (arguably) turned out fine, but it’s not ideal. It’s questions without good answers and child support and arguments and mostly differing views. Saying it’s not ideal seems like an understatement. It’s what we have though so it’s what we do. I wouldn’t want it any other way. If I didn’t have my son with his mom he wouldn’t be him. He’d be someone else and I’d be someone else. I want to be with the fiance that I have and I want to have the son that I have. I would never change any of that.
But it’s still hard. The differing views destroy me. Sometimes someone is wrong, most of the time no one is. Just different. For example, I showed him a movie and he had a bad dream because of it so I’m wrong. But should he always be afraid of a movie? Should he grow from it and figure it out? Does the one part that he was scared outweigh the other parts that maybe had a good message or made him happy? Should I have just waited to show him that film? How long? If you’ve never seen something scary, would it scare you the same amount at age 15 as it does age 8?
Every little thing is like this and I don’t know the answers. It’s a learning process. A very painful learning process. I just try to do what I think is best, what I think will make my kid happy. I hope that his mother does the same thing.
It sucks knowing that if I did end up doing something wrong, I can’t be there to fix it. Not knowing what is going to happen over the next 13 days or how he’ll take whatever he got from our visit home with him is what makes that five minutes all the more painful. You can’t know if you made things better or worse. You can’t know what’s going to happen. You can only hope he comes back again in two weeks.