17/365: Mother/Daughter Time

Time with my kids is precious.  It always was pre-divorce, but seems to be of more critical importance now that the time is divided.  It is funny to me that before separating I longed for just one hour where I did not have to worry about anything except myself.  Getting away from my kids was AWESOME!  Now, every moment away from them is spent thinking about the next time I get to see them.  I won't go as far to say it is "torture" because it is not.  The time I have to myself these days is time I feel like I should have been given while we were married.  But, the time to myself these days is not fully appreciated because it took divorce to get it.  Every Sunday at my church we all hold hands at the end of the service and sing "Shalom".  I was holding hands with a couple about my age who also have kids.  The husband is Cameron's Sunday School teacher.  After the song, his lovely wife said, "How did you get to have a break from the kids today."  Well, I burst into tears.  The poor woman was saying what all of us mothers say to our friends or acquaintances who are "blessed" to be without their precious little ones for a moment.  We all usually laugh and say, "I know, isn't it fantastic?"  But, not this time.  When she asked the question, she had no idea that there was a custody situation.  When she asked the question, she had no idea that I was supposed to have brought them to church that morning, but didn't get the kids when I should have.  So, I cried and blurted out "custody" and felt terrible knowing that she felt terrible.  Her husband stood there awkwardly, wondering if he should just walk away.  He didn't.  She hugged me, said she was sorry and said it would get better.  She was kind and loving and I feel so badly that I made her feel uncomfortable.

Totally not the point of my photo for the day.  The point is that every moment I get to spend with my kids is a gift and I treat it as such.  Olivia and I had some alone time while Cam was in school yesterday so we took advantage of the beautiful day and did some sledding and snowshoeing.  When she got her snowshoes for Christmas she could not wait for it to snow so she could walk up to the fire tower with me.  I gave her the opportunity yesterday.  We got about 50 feet into it and suddenly, "I'm too tired, Mama.  I can't really walk."  I pleaded and prodded and bribed, but nothing worked.  The highlight of the walk was when she went under a fallen tree branch and it stole her hat off her head.  In about 10 minutes, the snowshoes were off her feet and she was running (yes, too tired to walk but she could run) through the park.  Ugh... ;)

Notice the body language here.  Totally not into the snowshoes. 
Ha ha!  The tree stole my hat :)

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