It has been 4 months and 7 days since Logan went to stay with his Dad for the summer. I know, you’re saying to yourself, “Self…summer is over.” Yes, summer is over. Summer is over, and fall is rapidly approaching winter…and I am admitting to a lot of people for the first time publicly that Logan is not living with me this year. I suppose I haven’t wanted to talk about it much, because it’s painful and I feel as though I’ve somehow let everyone down. As though I’ve let Logan down, and that’s why he asked to stay with Dad for the school year. But, some days I feel ok with the decision because I hear his voice on the telephone and he’s telling me about all the fun things he is doing with Daddy. Cub scouts, and hiking and learning to shoot BB guns…all of the things that fathers are supposed to do with their boys. These are the things that Logan has missed out on for 8 years because his Dad wasn’t around for much of that. And those conversations are bittersweet moments for me. I am happy that they are creating a relationship, building memories that Logan will carry with him for his entire life, and share with his own children when he’s older. I am happy that Logan might finally feel like a normal kid who has a Dad around. Maybe he’s feeding a part of himself that I just never could fully understand because I am his Mom and I’ve always been here.
But there’s a part of me that’s angry. Really, really angry. Because I AM his Mom and I’ve ALWAYS been here. I have struggled for years to raise him alone. I’ve been careful never to utter negative words about his Dad, who chose not to be around. I’ve worked multiple jobs to make ends meet, I’ve bounced around trying to find a situation that would enable me to provide the most I could for my son. And I can’t help but feeling a tiny bit cast aside in this whole scenario. Don’t get me wrong, I know Logan loves me. I know that at 8-almost-9 years old he can’t possibly begin to understand what I’ve sacrificed to care for him. Nor should he have to. He just needs to know that his Mom loves him and would do anything for him, and I think he does. But I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t feel this gnawing sense of guilt that I was not able to give him the cub scout meetings, and hiking trips – the archery and BB guns, ice skating and hockey and s’mores over a campfire.
It seems rashly unfair that after 8 years of devoting myself to raising a child virtually without help, that someone can swoop in and steal him away from me. And yet, when Logan and his Dad asked me if Logan could stay, it seemed rashly unfair that I would deny them the opportunity to get to know each other. That I would deny Logan the chance to have the relationship that every child needs and deserves.
So I sit here in my really, really quiet and pretty lonely little house and cry because I miss seeing him ride his bike outside with the neighborhood kids, and I miss hearing about his school day, and I miss seeing him smile. I miss his little voice, his hugs and kisses, his laugh that brightens my day no matter what. I hate that I am missing this time – these moments and memories. I don’t know how long I’ve wished for a little bit of normalcy in my life. And today, it has hit me hard just how abnormal this situation is – and how much I hate explaining to people that Logan wanted to stay with Daddy this year. It’s as if I’m a bad mother, or a failure, or a person he couldn’t wait to be away from. Deep in my heart, I suppose there is a part of me that knows this is not true but it’s hard not to feel those very real and very difficult feelings. And without him around, I feel like I’m going through a bit of an identity crisis. I’ve spent years being “Logan’s Mom”, the one always in “go mode” who is making things happen, and getting it done. And for now, that’s all put on hold and I’m at a complete and utter loss on how to deal with it.