“Mom!” my daughter says…
She had just picked up the phone. I was calling to talk as I was still in South Dakota earlier this week.
“Where are you?” she asks. “Are you still at the Cowboy’s?”
“I am, honey! How are you?” I replied.
“Mom..” she says, rather breathlessly .. “OK. I have 11 reasons why I would want to move to South Dakota.. and 11 reasons why I don’t. And .. why are you still there? I want you to come home.”
While she loves the Cowboy, his kids, their lifestyle and I believe wants nothing more than to live on a ranch where there is every opportunity to have all the animals she’s ever desired, especially horses..
We’re (and by saying ‘we’, I mean ‘she’ .. ) very stressed at the moment, about what might be happening later this year and where we might be going to school.
My daughter is 10.
She met the Cowboy before I even had a chance to introduce the two this past summer. The scene: we were out at the barn where we keep our horse. The owner, thrilled to have someone around who really spoke her language (horses), she swooped him up for almost an hour, showing him around while I went and rode. I came back to where everyone was standing after a brief ride.. and my daughter was hamming it up. As soon as he started talking to another person standing with us all, she grabbed me by the arm and whispered loudly, “Mom.. He’s so nice! He’s cuuuuuute! And, he’s a real cowboy, Mom!”
She’s told me herself on many occasions over the past 8 months, since the Cowboy and I met, that she thinks he’s the one, if there ever were another one for me. She adores him and she knows I do as well. (Understatement of the year) But, if we do take life and this love a step further, what does that mean?
How do we all live together, us, the kids, the ex’s? Same geographic area, I’m speaking? OR do we not? Do we keep two separate homes in two separate states and keep driving between? Or do we find what we want somehow, and that is time, all together, everyday. If so, where would we live? Where would she go to school? Would she get her own room and her own horse? That’s what she wants to know.
But she also wants me to know as one of the 11 reasons she doesn’t want to move to South Dakota, that she’ll never consider the Cowboy family. (Mind you this comes within months of saying she can’t wait to have brothers and a sister and the Cowboy would make a great step-dad and asking if we could please move there because the west ‘is where her heart just is‘. She can’t describe it, she used to tell me. I get that, I really do.)
Until now, my ex and I have stayed put, not wanting to ever have this discussion. I’m not sure either of us does now. But life and I truly feel God’s plans for me/us are bringing it all to a head. How do parents make these decisions? These….. gut wrenching, heart breaking, tough, life altering decisions? Seriously? We can’t all regroup and fall in love again in the exact same location we often feel trapped by divorce.
I am feeling like a horrible mother for even thinking – what if there is a split in the coming year or years between states. Her father has despised his time in Wisconsin since the day he moved here and would love nothing more than to leave. But, he’s not interested in South Dakota, he’s told me. What if, she spends summers with one and the school year with another? How awful will it feel to be the one left with less time to love her in person, raise her, guide her and be present? Or, will she be okay either way?
My daughter would be going to a new school in her current district this next school year anyway, but she’d still be with the friends she’s made the past few years. She is petrified we might send her to a new school within if not the district, another town or even a new state.
I keep saying that to her, please don’t worry right now .. there isn’t one of us adults at the moment, certain of what is to come. What we do know, is we love her. And we are all working toward the best possible solutions with that in mind. And in the meantime, we pray.
Maybe I need to make a list myself…
11 reasons why it will all work out. Somehow…..