Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week with Daughter

It's been a while since I posted. Last week, Daughter and the Girl's parents were here. Weeks like those are so hard to describe; regular life seems to stand still. Daughter came out from the customs clearance area at the airport, looking her old self. She ran over to me and we hugged for a few minutes. I'm sure everyone was staring at us.

How strange and wonderful to see her again. When she was younger, I knew every detail of her life. Her entire frame of reference was shaped by me. We would take walks together every day, read books at the library, tell stories at night. I had such a simple life back then and she fit in perfectly. One of my favorite memories is still picking her up from day care on my way home from school. Every time, we would do the same thing on the way home. She had to balance on the same wall, climb halfway up an old anchor and look at fish through the window at the pet store.

Slowly, things changed. The hellish intern year and the divorce. When Ex-wife first moved out, my mind and body were in full rebellion. It became obvious then that there wasn't much else in my life other than the kids. But things changed slowly. People I didn't know began taking care of the kids.

Then the Girl came into my life. At least for a while, she was more important than the kids. We were so in love and I will never forget that time. But the kids were pushed onto the back burner and I slid a little farther out of their lives.

Then came a time when I had the kids twice a week. We had some great nights, playing, hiking and swimming. I no longer knew everything in their lives; I didn't know how they were doing in school. I only knew their friends as names.

And then we moved. We'll see if it turns out to be the biggest mistake in my life. Very often, it feels like a mistake. Talk about a personal crisis those first weeks, I was ready to jump on the first plane back to Wisconsin.

But. In 5 months, Daughter is coming to live here, and maybe that's the part that makes all this worth while. This week, it seemed a little like the old days. We went to the library and found a book that we read together and talked about. We went to museums that we would discuss at night before going to bed. She had a million questions about Denmark and about life that I tried to answer. She has a life in Wisconsin I know increasingly little about, but this week, it felt like I was able to direct everything new that was fed into her brain.

5 months is a long time, of course, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Danni said...

I feel so sad when I read these posts. I have no wisdom at all, but think that you will need to make peace with the decisions you make, and if you can't make peace think about how you could find peace (?)

olga said...

SR and Girl, these are your blogs, and that is all we know. What I wonder, sometimes, is what is her Mother thinks? Why is Daughter doesn't do sports anymore if she used to? How is Mother going to handle her being away once Daughter moves with you guys, and will Daughter miss Mom as much as she misses dad? Would it solve her new traits? What about Son, and how will he grow up without a Sister being around all the time? I mean, either way you take it, eventually things settle in, and we never, ever will know which way would have been best - we just live with one we took. But we often wonder, don't we? Not to bring more questions than you have to your lives, but I am curious about the "other flipside of the coin".

Lisa said...

Oh, you poor soul. My husband and his daughter are so very close. I understand, as a spectator. I am so sorry for your pain. You'll see her soon. Keep connecting. Continue to communicate, even if just to hear the litany of what occurred that day in their world. Ask lots of questions. "And then what did the teacher say?" "Wow! Did that kid get in big trouble after that?!". It keeps them talking, and they become accustomed to opening up to you. Best of luck!