So they say time heals all wounds and based on my divorce experience, I tend to agree. When my ex told me he was going to introduce Giselle to my kids, I freaked. I screamed. I cried. I had her deposed. I made her tell the whole sordid story under oath. After she described their initial meeting at Bahama Mamas, I made a dramatic exit from the room, only to discover I had forgotten my jacket and had to slink back in to retrieve it, where the two of them were calmly making plans for lunch.
Anyway, the point is, the thought of another woman being in my children's life, was too unthinkable, unimaginable and downright agonizing. I pictured them sitting around the table eating her home made pastries-the evil witch to my Hansels and Gretels, luring them in with Swiss chocolate and rides in her convertible. I fought tooth and nail for the holidays, carving out only an hour here or there when they would have time to be with their dad. After two years of having all four of them here for the holidays, while I shop, cook, clean and do their laundry for two weeks, I have changed my tune.
It started slowly, last year, when the kids told me Giselle had made pretzels. Who doesn't love home made pretzels? I brokered a covert deal with my ex, to smuggle in a piece of my sweet potato pie, in return for a pretzel. I have also told him to ask Giselle to include more malted milk eggs in the Easter baskets the kids come home with.
When my daughter H had a nightmarish sewing project due at school, I reminded her that Giselle LOVED to sew and I was sure she would love to help H out. Likewise, when H wanted to go to downtown Tampa to some obscure goth store for a prom dress. I pointed out it would mean a lot to dad to include Giselle in this special moment. Giselle ended up wandering around Ybor City for hours, while I watched several episodes of Real Housewives with a great bottle of cabernet.
Sometimes now, when I don't feel like cooking, and I hear "God I'm so hungry" from my son J, I casually mention "I bet Giselle is cooking up a big Swiss steak, or Swiss meatballs, or some kind of braised meat," and I am off the hook! I love this!
One of the best things she has given me, is now I am totally off the hook for doing Christmas. As a Jewish woman who married a Catholic man, I thought I had the best of both worlds. While the main floor of our home had a menorah and dreidles on the counter during the holidays, downstairs in the basement we had an entire winter wonderland. There was a tree, lights, music,a dancing Santa. At sundown, we would run upstairs to recite our prayer and light a candle and then head back down for a joyful rendition of Rudolph.
I continued to do this for the kids but now I am free! Let Giselle have the pine needles, the dead hulking tree, the hours spent putting away the breakable ornaments. Let Giselle find the one light that is causing the power outage, and scrape that sticky white fake snow crap off the windows. At the very worst I may have to scrape alittle wax off the countertop.
You may ask how can I be okay with another woman having a place in my kids' life. Well the answer is I am their mother, their one and only, they will never have another. I am bound to them through my heart and blood and love them with all my being. I know their love for me is a fact of life, a given, a part of their souls. Yes they unfriended me on facebook for lurking, but I don't take that personally.
Anyway, it is a week before Christmas and time to start preparing my pies for bartering. I hear she's making chocolate dipped ones this year!