Now that I have finally put to bed my gargantuan series of posts on the minor sideshow of the American Revolution that was Sullivan's disappointing Staten Island Raid; there is time for me (and my loyal readers) to come up for air. Clearly, I have stretched the blog format to the utmost in writing these posts, and probably should have written a history dissertation instead.
Actually, while all this was going on, I did, in fact, of my own volition write a 30 page academic paper documenting the route and encampments of Burgoyne's Convention Army through my part of Connecticut in November of 1778. I will spare you the details for now, but to those who claim my obsessive geekdom knows no bounds, I plead nolo contendere.
All this feverish activity, as my analyst could tell you if not for the confidentiality of the doctor / patient relationship, is a sign of other things going on in my life. Out of consideration for my spouse, I have not written much here about the long process of teasing apart the tangle of our lives and household and moving toward divorce and what follows in our lives going forward. There has been great movement in the last couple of months, and now there are two residences, a signed separation agreement, and a couple more weeks left before we stand in court and accomplish under law what we have managed to achieve already through patient mediation.
During the mandatory parent education classes that we both attended together as part of the divorce process, she and I observed that the heart of the message we were receiving was to be more attentive and deliberate partners in parenthood than we managed to do in all our years as husband and wife. From our couple's therapy we found that we are still a family, however reinvented and physically displaced. From our children, we know that they need and love us both as deeply as we do themselves.
Our new situation has us both still living in the same small town, within walking distance of each other but not on roads either one regularly has to travel. The children spend alternate weeks with each parent. I remain in the house we bought back in 2002 and she has an apartment in a duplex in a neighborhood with friendly dogs and other children. I have not yet had a moment to sort through the upheaval of the move or to rearrange the place and make it feel like my own.
That will come, over time, but for now I am too busy managing the many details of a reshuffled life - including getting an unexpected car loan this week to replace my van that was not worth the transmission repair it needed - to let myself feel empty or abandoned. That grief, too, will come, but there is also great reason for hope and joy in my life and good things to come.
In the meanwhile, my time at home this coming week is my own. I may read, or rake the yard, or make a big batch of green chili with great northern beans. I will put bell peppers in my salad and play old LPs from my youth. I will grumble about the plumbing in the downstairs bathroom and consider whether I can afford to pull up the wall to wall carpetting I have never liked and get the hardwood floors sanded so I can lay down coats of polyurethane.
I will watch the green shoots of new spring wildflowers making daily gains against the newly thawed ground. This is the time for resolution, for patient ears and open hearts. Perhaps a bit of wide-eyed whimsy as well, to make a fresh start with what I have and those I love.