Friday, January 04, 2008


Oh. The reason I brought up all that stuff about my descent into madness over not having my children with me for the second Christmas in a row [and we'll pass right over all the other holidays without batting an eyelash] was that I finally understood something: the reason that my invitation looked so unappealing was the direct result of the way I set up my divorce.

Any division of property that had required the sale of the house was off the table from the start. More than anything else I wanted to avoid destroying the home the children had known for twenty years and more; I wanted Isis, who offered to move, to stay in it at all costs. If someone had to go, it should be me who had lots of emotional connection to the town, but no, ahem, professional connections there. So how can I complain when the result of my decisions is that the children can still go home and have Christmas just the way it always was? Wouldn't you want to, given a choice? I know I would.

And then there is the question that I wanted, and found, "someone else," while Isis neither wants nor is looking for anybody: once bitten, twice shy, I guess.

[Now why does that sound familiar?]

Loyalty is a wonderful thing in children, as anywhere else.

All of that to say that on some level I understand completely why I couldn't have what I wanted: my share of family life. [I want it back even more than I want my garage back; and I am so tired of sweeping snow and ice off the car in the morning I could scream.] I'm not talking about half here, just more than one day out of each week the kids were home... well, it was not to be.

And in the final analysis, I have to admit that, painful as it was this year, I got what I wanted. In the LONG term...

So, take it from me: be careful what you wish for.

What's weird about all of this is that I am beginning to see the costs of my choices in new ways, every day. I think of myself of having given up everything and, until You-Know-Who showed up, being left with nothing: no home, no job, no self-respect, no family. It seemed that Isis had all of that, and I was out in the cold. Now I see that the children look at her alone in the house, refusing to contemplate a life with another person in it, and they naturally rally around her. I suddenly look like the one who "got it all." Now if this is what "getting it all" feels like, until very recently, I can tell, you can keep it. But painful as starting over was, and painful as the idea of moving again and starting over again is, I did and will start over. There is new life. There is New Life.

I wrote rather grandly last year that the story of the Exodus teaches us that the call into a real future always requires us to leave paradise and wander in the wilderness, eating whatever falls from the sky, and generally wishing we could go back; the catch is that we can never go back. But there is the promise is of a new land flowing with milk and honey [I'm not making this up, fellas].

The fact is that I have to say that after a lot less than forty years in the wilderness, I am in the Promised Land [or at least there is a good chance of getting to the Promised Land if we are still talking to each other in April...] It doesn't look like what I expected -- and in a lot of ways that is a very good thing -- and it does seem to involve putting all the inhabitants already in the land to the sword. That is not a comfortable truth, but it does seem to be a truth. I am sure the RBF would understand exactly what I mean.

So, next time I start to complain: remind me...

The Goat arrives home tomorrow, and I am off tomorrow morning, by way of tea at my grandmother's house and dinner with the Bean Curd People, to welcome him home.

Hang in there, all.
It's what we're here for...


1 comment:

  1. Well written Troll. Sometimes I look at Anne's life, and have some of the same feelings you have. She has become more financially successful than me, has the bigger house, seems happy without a partner. I believe she also suffers from the once bitten twice shy syndrom. My experience is that ex-wives of most gay men have this syndrom. Go figure.