Saturday, January 08, 2005
A typical SaturdayToday we woke up early to get my husband and son to basketball practice. After basketball my son went to a friend's home to play. The parents brought him back and my son then had a school friend over for a play date (that was set up before the previously mentioned play date). Then after his friend left, his best friend came over for dinner and a sleep over. I figured we were here, so why not? I don't often book my son's day so full, but that is the way it worked out and he was very happy. My son is happiest when he has a friend around.
My daughter is the opposite, at least for now. She had a birthday party to attend this afternoon and she extracted a promise for me to stay the whole time (otherwise she wasn't going to go -- and it would have been fine for her to hang out at home all day with me). I said I would only if she didn't sit on my lap the whole time (that has happened before). And so it went that the two of us walked over to her birthday party (actually, I pushed her in the stroller... it was over a mile away... and I already know she's too old for a stroller) and I sat around a kid's party for 3 hours. The host made me welcome, but it is so awkward. I don't know about the US, but parents don't stay for kids parties here. I was the only parent there.
Actually, I wouldn't have made it there at all if I hadn't talked to the nanny at the park the other day. I was asking if she'd be at the party and she pointed out that it wouldn't be at the child's house (I saw on the invitation that it was at an apartment and I didn't look at the details). I guess the parents separated over the holidays and the husband already had a new, huge apartment down the street. So I sat in his huge, very loud, yet depressing apartment for three hours. It looked like the guy had just moved in. There were only two pictures on the wall -- of each of his kids. Otherwise besides a table and chairs and a couch the rooms that I saw were empty.
They seemed like such a happy couple. It just goes to prove you don't really know how other people are doing. The wife did come to the party and I couldn't help but watch them when they were in the same room. What went wrong???? I wanted to ask. But I wouldn't, even if I could figure out how to ask in French.
I was telling my husband how much it bothered me when I got home, and he asked if we know any friends that have gotten a divorce. I really don't think we've had friends -- a couple that we have hung out with -- that have been through a divorce. Maybe because it's unfamiliar to me ( no one in my family has been divorced -- grandparents, parents, sisters). It really makes me feel so uneasy. I guess because I always want everyone to get along and that there always be a happy ending -- I am the baby in the family, after all.
When do the little things add up to big problems in a marriage? How do you want to live with someone the rest of your life one day and not a day longer the next?
-- said Auntie M in Paris
What has surprised me has been how cordial the separated spouses/partners are to each other when it comes to school meetings, parties, etc.
You are not alone in what you feel. I admire you for giving your son a wonderful day full of friends and understanding your daughter too.
Terry in San Francisco
# posted by Anonymous : 10:43 PM
I have no particular advice about handling this situation, but I do have advice about spending three hours in someone's apartment at a kid's birthday party: bring a book!
# posted by Lisa : 12:21 AM