Finding time … and patience.

At some point, if you stick with me long enough.. you’ll most likely hear something about the challenges my ex and I have had the past seven years or so as we went through our divorce.  And, recovery.

Our marriage was a struggle from the start for many, many reasons let alone the break-up.  It has taken all we have, I believe, to try and do what is best for our daughter and somehow get along.  Or at the very least appear to try.

I’ve wished throughout the past ten years, that I had been better about journaling because so many lessons were learned through both the good times and the bad.  Lessons I would love to reflect on as well as pass along to my daughter.  Perhaps though, the following is why it struck me this past week, to finally get at.  To start writing.  I just felt some big things were coming my way.  I wanted record.  And pretty sure my intuition was right.

Just this week, the ex and I sat down and for the first time since our divorce and apologized.  For everything.

I’m not going to lie.  It was and is weird.  But I’m trusting its also genuine.  The ex said to me, “I don’t expect after so many years of treating you poorly (word changed there – family show!) that you’ll believe I’ve changed.  I know I need to earn your trust again.  But I’m going to try.”

While I believe I may still be in shock, I am looking forward to seeing how we might all heal and as well, where we go from here.

Getting along..  Successfully co-parenting post divorce, I’m going to just assume, is never easy.  But what I do know for certain, is that some try.  And, try to co-parent far better than others.

Before I go any further with my journal, let me just establish a few important facts:

1.  I know there are two sides to every story.

2.  The last thing I ever want or try to do is run another person down.

3.  This blog/journal, again, is about our day to day and the issues the Cowboy and I face.  But they are issues many of you face as well.  I want your thoughts, actions, solutions or experiences to share.  Because I know I and most of my friends going through these same issues are exhausted and broke spending upwards of $200/hr for therapy or their attorney.

4.  My focus will almost always be on how to improve a situation.  Not just complain about it.

There.  Back to the journal.

The Cowboy wants more time with his kids.  And I think its safe to say, anyone would find it tough to withstand the games a vindictive – for reasons no one seems to be able to understand – games an ex, his ex if we want to get specific, can play.  (Again, I know there are two sides to every story but its though to argue with facts, words in writing and actions.)

The Cowboy will tell you he’s not perfect.  I would agree.  But none of us are.  He lets the kids play in the mud, eat too many sweets, often stay up past bedtime the weekends he has them .. he lets them make mistakes in the hopes they learn from them and takes them for ice cream during the 3 hours he gets to see them each week.  He knows he has a lot to learn about parenting, about himself, about relationships and about life.  But he’s also the most open person I know to the lessons.

Strong hands and a tender heart help place a winter hat on son.

The Cowboy loves his kids.  And he does his best to show them in the ridiculously small amount of time he’s been granted each week – for reasons even the judge can’t explain.

The Cowboy is a great dad.  And it breaks my heart to know that he or any parent who deserves equal time with their kids, doesn’t get it.  No matter how much my ex and I couldn’t see eye to eye, even we felt equal time with our daughter was a non-negotiable.

So, we pray everyday for grace, for strength to get through this and the wisdom to understand why any of this is happening…

In the meantime, we also are praying for as much time as possible with the kids… and I asked earlier to give me one word to describe what he needed most to get through this.

He said patience.  Patience things will work out.  That the kids will be ok.  That the time with them will come.  And to know God is somehow through this, working on us all.

But hours later and having had some time now to decompress on a very lonely stretch of highway between SD and WI…

The Cowboy called and said, “Faith may be a better word.  I think faith is maybe patience in action.  Faith I believe, is knowing that doing the right thing will prevail.”

Afternoon ride

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