So, it's September, no October already and as usual everyone starts to look towards December and Christmas. Mum is usually the first person to mention it, in fact I think she's already into countdown mode, but generally I try to avoid it for as long as possible, particularly as Tall Girl insists on making her birthday a priority (November birthday). But something has been looming, for a while now, always in the back of my mind and usually brushed away instantly but actually, at some point, it was bound to happen.
This will be the 6th Christmas since the break up of the family, it seems even longer than that. The children always chose to be with me at Christmas as their dad 'didn't do Christmas' in fact he tended to go into decline around Tall Girls birthday and surface sometime after Boxing day. I remember, once, bringing the kids home from school on a Friday, before Tall Girls birthday weekend, only to find him in bed and having a panic attack. It's the loneliest time of the year to deal with kids and be jolly when your other half is in a deep depression.
Some of it is probably documented here, the lack of interest in festivities, I'm sure I wrote about it once. And now, it seems like a million miles away.
So, I guess that is how it is for the children, a very, very distant memory. They have forgotten why they always chose to have Christmas here, they have forgotten that it was me who made Christmas for them, they have even forgotten how he has stopped buying a tree recently, even though they are there before and shortly after Christmas.
Tonight, Ex Husband came to pick them up, we had the talk - about Christmas. He has spoken to them and they are willing. For them it makes it fair if they share themselves about - I know that, I get that. Maybe he'll make a big effort. I've thought about this happening a lot. It's selfish if me to always have them, how would I feel if I was him? And besides, he has family who live by the sea, he has taken to going down there over the last few years, the children could have a lovely time being by the sea for the Christmas holidays and with several generations of family too.
"What are your plans?" I asked him as he left with them
"I thought we'd stay at home" he said "I spend so much time travelling around, I'd rather not drive anywhere"
And so we have it. My children will be staying at their fathers this Christmas, who doesn't (but hopefully now does) do Christmas and who is too selfish to think about taking them somewhere to celebrate with family.
As he left Small Sprog said "I don't mind where I spend Christmas, as long as I'm still alive"! I don't know what his plans are for the next few months but I sincerely hope he's still with us! However, after he'd gone, I felt incredibly sad... So easily they turn away, without a thought - that's where the pain lies.