Yes, I can still be surprised, even by my ex. This time for a good reason.
Our daughter is a competitive ice skater, which is just one more reason I have to see my ex more than anyone should have to be punished. The man can’t, doesn’t, and won’t look at me. He definitely doesn’t speak to me; in fact, all communication goes through his wife. I am sure he is in the background telling her what to say, but he refuses to speak to me. This tends to make things uncomfortable for all of those around us in situations like ice skating competitions. It isn’t so bad when our daughter is with me and I am the one taking her to the competition and handling everything, because that allows her dad to show up just before she goes on the ice and leave as soon as she is done. But when the tables are turned and she is with him and he has to be there more than the minute and a half she is on the ice, things get weird. You see, I don’t just show up to watch her on the ice; I am there early to encourage her, to help her get ready if need be, to cheer on her friends as they compete (yes, I have been known to show up at competitions my daughter is not at because she is with her dad and he wouldn’t let her compete, just to be supportive of her friends who are competing). I believe in saying nice things to those she skates against before, during, and even after the awards are announced. Good sportsmanship is a must in my book.
Therefore, I do not show up and sit in some corner quietly until my daughter takes the ice. So yes, I am in close proximity of my ex and his wife and I smile and speak pleasantries. I guess maybe I even take a little pleasure in seeing my ex so uncomfortable.
On the rare times my ex takes our daughter skating, he doesn’t interact with the other parents, or pass along information that he may witness or be told while there. So when I received a text from a friend, and mom of skaters, asking how my daughter was feeling last week, I was a bit confused. I replied, “okay, I guess, why do you ask?” It seemed like an odd question because when I saw my daughter the day before, she was fine, and when I spoke to her on the phone last night while she was at her dad’s, she seemed fine. As I began reading a text from my friend telling me my daughter fell on the ice today and was hurt, I began to feel many emotions: scared, worried, angry, angry, angry, and mad. Why did I not know this? I could not believe I had to hear this from someone else who was at the rink and not my daughter or her father or her coach. As I am about ready to scream, my phone buzzes and it is a text from my ex…my ex, not his wife. Okay, so it is not speaking, but it is communication. He fills me in on what happened and what has been done and how my daughter is. Kudos to him. Nothing nasty, just the facts. And as I reply and thank him for letting me know, I step WAY out on that limb and ask if I can come by and see our daughter…
You see, I didn’t ask to be away from my daughter. I did not ask to not be the one there when she gets hurt, but it is the way life is. Sometimes, especially when hurt, we just need our mommies. And sometimes when we get hurt and are away, our mommies just need us.
And yes, to my surprise, no questions asked, he replied “yes.” So even though I asked, I did not expect the answer I wanted, but my ex came through. For a split second, I saw a glimpse of the man I used to know.
I went to see and hug my daughter. To hear her tell me what happened. To assure her she would be okay and that I was sorry I wasn’t with her, but I loved her very much.
The glimpse of the man I once knew didn’t last long as I had to hug and speak to my daughter from the front door step and she was only allowed a few minutes to be with me.
But hey, I will take it!