Monday, April 2, 2007

The Downside

First day back to school. Always nice to be back. Typically, when I get out as late as I did tonight (9:40), my mom or Todd keep the kids overnight and take Jenna to school so that they aren't up so late waiting for me to take them home and get them to bed.

Tonight, however, was different.

Todd's sister and my three nieces are in from the other side of the state as the kids are on spring break. So, my mother-in-law wanted the kids this evening so the all of the kids could spend time together. She couldn't keep my kids overnight as there isn't room. Which is fine, as it's a special situation.

I went to pick them up after school and it was a rush situation as it was already late and my kids had to get home to bed since Jenna has school in the a.m.

My sister-in-law (the one that's visiting) and I never clicked. We get along, per se, but we don't particularly "get" each other and have never really enjoyed one another's company. I get along famously with her husband as well as Todd's other siblings and their respective spouses. Just not her. Nothing ever happened between us, we just didn't click from day one 14 long years ago.

They don't come often. This is the first time they have been here since before Todd and I officially announced that we were divorcing last August.

In the past, I would go visit when I could so I could see the girls and socialize with the in-laws. I can't do that anymore.

Given the circumstances of the nature of my visit tonight (go in, fetch kids, get out), I'm not sure what I expected. But my sister-in-law was neither welcoming nor unwelcoming and I'm sure I wasn't either warm or cold. We're pretty apathetic with each other.

I haven't seen my nieces since last July and they weren't excited to see me as they have been in the past. The little one (she's three) wouldn't even look at me. This can, of course, be expected. It was past bedtime all around and children can be rather unpredictable with their affection when they haven't seen someone in nine months.

Compounded with the fact, however, that my sister-in-law and I aren't exactly best buds, it really sucked. The hugs were forced and I left feeling incredibly heavy.

It's difficult because the biggest downside to the divorce is the family that I'm losing. His other sister (no children) and his mom are here and I feel confident that I will always have a high comfort level with them. But the others, which include Todd's brother, aforementioned sister, spouses, and five children are on the other side of the state. I don't see them. My relationship with the children will continue to deteriorate until I'm just "Jenna and Alex's mom."

It's a loss for me.

Strangely, I don't feel like it's going to be quite that bad with my brother-in-law because I get along with him and his wife so much better. We actually have things to say to each other and have fun with one another. For some reason, that reassures me.

It shouldn't be about my relationship with my in-laws as much as with my nieces and nephew. Yet, it is an undeniable factor.

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