Jack starts First Grade today, but I'm not there to take him to school and see him through the doors. I wasn't there last year, either. Don't worry, this isn't going to be some maudlin post about how many of the precious moments I am missing in my childrens' lives because of the divorce. I was the one who initiated the divorce, after all. And although divorce is difficult and complicated and sad, and I worry every day on some level if I did the right thing and if my boys will somehow be damaged, I would do it all over again in a heart beat. That was not the life I wanted to be living. Maybe it was stupid to stay in it so long, have so many children, then bail. Or maybe it was selfish of me to get out, maybe I should have stayed in it "for the sake of the children" as so many are fond of saying. There is an endless amount of second-guessing a person can do post-divorce (and pre-divorce, and mid-divorce), and trust me, I do my share. But I'm not so much into regretting. I'm much more into learning and moving on.
I'm glad that my ex insisted on 50/50 custody. I think it's important that our boys know that they are no more or less important to either of us. When my parents were divorced, I spent weekdays with my mother (homework, bag lunches, dentist appointments) and weekends with my father (movies, eating out, trips to the beach, sleeping late). What was the message there? It was the 70s, and that was just how it was done, but clearly what I learned from that was that moms were there to make sure all the important stuff got done and you combed your hair, and dads were there to have fun with you and take you to the circus. Not a message I want passed on to my own children.
Jack started school today, without me. He'll be fine, and I'll try to be fine. Last year was definitely harder -- Kindergarten is such a milestone, and I cried about it. I'm not crying today. But I wish I could have been there, helped him get dressed, made sure he was clean and presentable, and watched him as he walked, all brown legs and giant red backpack, through the big heavy doors and into school.