It was a busy and emotional weekend. It's a rare occurrence to have all three kids home at the same time, and it's a blessing, but also a little stressful in our tiny townhouse.
They came to us together because they were all going to be on the east coast for their father's birthday party, an annual extravaganza. My birthday is coming up, too, and my eldest, Litigator, decided that it was about time somebody threw a party for me . So Litigator came up with the idea, and the youngest, StrongOpinions, who is the picture of the overfunctioning child, did a goodly part of the work, the middle one, StoneMason, helped when told by his sister what to do, and PH, their stepfather, provided the money. The mom of one of their friends actually catered the deal, and a cake was gotten from CakeLove, a local emporium of transcendently delicious baked goods. Guests included a couple of dear friends of mine, one whom I hadn't seen in quite a while, and a bunch of the kids' friends, most of whom I have fed regularly over the years. It was a gas.
It was also a poignant moment, realizing that they recognized how I have always been the one throwing parties for people, but have only rarely been the guest of honor. It echoed the time last year that eldest son blew up at his father for insisting that they go there yet again for Thanksgiving dinner, saying "Mom never gets to have us for Thanksgiving. It's not fair to her."
By and large, the dealings with my ex have been reasonable, mostly because much time has passed since the divorce, because we both love the kids and because I pick my battles, so things like where these young adults go on what dates is just not that big a thing for me. But it is interesting and gratifying to see that they can and do make choices and they can and do see situations for what they are.
My hope has always been that the divorce and the aftermath caused them as little harm as possible. I don't know if that's the case. Time will tell. But I'm glad to see they are becoming caring adults, mostly responsible, and that they are devising their own ways of dealing with the world honestly and sensitively. Mostly.
P.S. Warren Brown, the owner of CakeLove, is a former government lawer and general cutie-pie who appears on Food Network. He is as sweet as his cakes!