Friday, August 15, 2008

The Lorax is mine!

We had to go to court yesterday to get my name on his birth certificate. It took less than a minute and suddenly I was legally his dad.

Running keeps being good. Ran 13 miles Wednesday with intervals at the end. The intervals were faster than ever. Tomorrow brings a 5K but it falls during my work hours. I could leave the ER and run it if there is nothing serious going on. We'll see how that goes.

My older son had his birthday this week. He is 5. It's crazy how time flies; I remember when he was a little, wet boy on the changing table. I am not as close to him as I am to my daughter. With her, it seems like we think the same way. She begs and complains like all kids, but I can tell her when enough is enough. She knows when I am joking and when I am serious.

With my son, it's different. I just can't seem to get through to him. I have always felt there was an element of "second child"-type behavior but it's more than that.

Whenever the kids sleep over here, he cries for an hour, saying he misses his mom. I don't know what to do when he acts that way. Also, he does these weird little spiteful things. The other day when I was brushing his teeth, I told him to spit. Instead of spitting like he normally would, he just opened up his mouth and let all the spit and toothpaste run down his chin and shirt.

And he looks at me in a strange way, like he is telling me he knows he is the forgotten middle kid. Like he knows how his life got derailed when his mom and I got a divorce. I don't know what to do about it. Once in a while, when I spend time exclusively with him, he glows, but other times he seems disinterested in hanging out with me. In day care, he is a popular, cute kid. I don't think he has any real behavioral problems.

I found out this week that my ex-wife will let our daughter live with the Girl and me when we move to Europe. Not right away, but once we get settled in. That was obviously very good news. She is still partly bilingual so I assume her Danish will pick back up right away. My ex-wife's decision has lifted a ton of stress off my shoulders. I am so excited about seeing a "new" country through my daughter's eyes; I know she will thrive over there.

Our son, then, I will only be able to see on vacations, a few weeks here and there, maybe more over the summer months. Logistically, he will be on the opposite continent of his sister a lot of the time. For now, my ex-wife won't allow me to have both kids out of the country at the same time. It's heart-breaking to think about.

I remember that time, maybe two and a half years ago, when we first started talking about the divorce. It felt like jumping off a cliff into darkness. It felt so exhilirating to think of being free of the constant arguments. We were two best friends living together, trying to suppress our urges to live the lives we really wanted. As it happened, she was the one who called it quits and I was the one who fought for months to get back together, mostly so I could be with the kids. I hated coming back to the house with their rooms empty and dark. At the time, we both knew the kids would be the ones to hurt from the divorce but the specifics were hard to imagine.

So many emotions and such big decisions are involved in this. One fine day, twenty years from now, we will all be able to look back and think about what we should have done. For now, we can just try to do our best for the their sake and ours.


Danni said...

Glad you got the Lorax paperwork taken care of. I suspect your son will be fine and maybe is just being a bit of a brat. I don't know if he's old enough to talk with him about his feelings and maybe get things out on the table, but it might help.

Jenee-O-Rama said...


Today's my first day reading your blog, but I'm a regular lurker at sealegsgirl's blog. =) I just wanted to say, that as the child of a divorce (and second child), there is good news. As they get older, they will understand. Their memories will be of a father who did all he could to show his love for them, and they'll be so grateful they won't even know how to put it into words. Try not to stress about your son too much.