Category Archives: parenthood

The Kid Goes Digital

Batman:  Digital Justice

If Batman can jump into the digital domain, then so can I…

Yesterday, I stepped into the digital dating domain and bought a 3 month membership on I set up an account earlier this week, but a user can’t do much beyond window shopping without buying some kind of membership. Aye, there’s the rub. Of course, the fact that a few people starting viewing my profile, especially once I posted a picture is what really got me to pay up.

I must admit, since I got the membership, I’ve been a little bit obsessed with seeing who ‘s looking at my profile and who the system is trying to set me up with.  In fact, I spent a good portion of this afternoon and evening exchanging e-mails with a couple different ladies. (they will tentatively be known by the code names “The Doc”  and “The Boss”.)  We’ll see what comes of all of this.

UPDATE:  11:00 PM Friday night:  It’s interesting:  my two e-mail exchanges with The Doc were pretty long-winded.  On the other hand, The Boss and I exchanged about a half-dozen short messages and set up a “date” for Saturday night.

Holy shit is this gonna be weird. We are just going to get drinks, so hopefully I won’t get too worked up tomorrow.

Yeah right…

There is a part of me that is concerned about the STBX somehow catching wind of my venture into the world of on-line dating.  Not embarrassment or anything, just concern since the divorce is still pending. If anything even remotely serious comes of this newest endeavor, I have got to play it low-key.  This is one of those time where it pays for the STBX to be five states away.

I think I needed to do something like this – to kind of break out of Sis’s shadow with the Social Club.  Don’t get me wrong, they’re awesome people; but I feel like I’ve really needed to venture out and meet some people on my own.

Later today (Saturday) the STBX is throwing a birthday party for our son.  His birthday isn’t until Tuesday but I overnighted his presents so he would have them in time for the party.  Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise – meeting The Boss for drinks tonight.  It will help take my mind off the fact that this will be my son’s first birthday party that I will miss.


With the Boy’s Easter break  about 6 weeks away, I called the STBX last night to discuss visitation.  Here’s a paraphrasing of said conversation – to the best of my memory:

Me:  So the Boy’s Easter break is coming up.  Under the separation agreement that you had written up, I get him for his entire break, right?

X: No, that’s not what I remember.

Me: Well, I don’t have it in front of me, but that is what it says.

X:  We don’t have an agreement.

Me:  We’ve been going by the agreement that you had written up.

X:  You never signed it.

Me:  Really, X?  You’re gonna do this every time it’s my turn to see him? Fine.  I’ll call my lawyer first thing Monday morning and I’ll set up a visitation hearing.

X:  I already made plans to take him to Legoland that week.

Me:  Maybe you should’ve checked that with me first.  I’ll have my lawyer set up a hearing.  We’ll get all this set in stone.

X:  Be sure to talk to him about child support too! hangs up phone

Typical.  Whenever she gets frustrated, she hangs up on people.  Her parents, her siblings, me.  I’m not really sure why she wants me to talk to my lawyer about child support.  That would be like a murderer asking his/her attorney: “hey how much time should I do?  10? 15 years?”

Again, she tries to go back on a separation agreement that SHE had written up.

She doesn’t get it.  She’s not in charge of this thing anymore. And that scares the hell out of her.

All in all, this is a week I would really like to forget.  SHG blows me off.  Ivy makes her move.  The STBX descends further into the role of the stereotypical bitchy ex-wife.  Never have I ever looked so forward to Monday…

Not a Disney World Dad, but that’s okay.

Nine days ago – the date of the so called Mayan apocalypse, I flew down to Charleston to pick up my Son. When he got to the airport, we were both psyched to see each other, but I was a little apprehensive at first. I hadn’t seen him in four months. And even though we spoke everyday, his voice sounded different. what if he was different? what would I do if he didn’t like all the Legos I bought him for Christmas?

Much to my delight, his stay in town was great! I had a few plans in mind during his stay – a Lego engineering exhibit, a movie or two – none of which we did. Although I was disappointed that we didn’t do anything “fun” we spent all of our time together. He was just happy to see me and he was psyched because it was Christmas. I’ve heard and read people saying don’t try to be the “Disney World Dad” and they’re absolutely right. Most of the time we were together, we watched TV, played with toys, video games, had a snowball fight, colored, and just hung out.  It really was about the quality of the time we spent together, doing the kinds of things we haven’t been able to do together – living so far away.  We also paid the obligatory Christmas visits:  my brother and my uncle’s houses for Christmas eve and Christmas Day respectively. Getting snow on Christmas Eve was just icing on the proverbial cake. I could not have asked for anything more.

Last Thursday, I made the trip back to south to get the Boy home for his South Carolina Christmas. Sis came along for moral support – that and we had talked about making a little side-trip after dropping off my son. Saying goodbye was tough, as I expected it to be.  He and both cried, but we made a deal to see each other more often in the coming year.  Surprisingly, the STBX was civil.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say she was polite, but my time at the Old House was a little easier than I expected.  While there, I picked up what I hope is the last of my things from the old house.  That part wasn’t really hard; but I just want that part to be over so i can move on.

We spent 2 days in Daytona Beach at an ocean-front, called, I shit you not, The Mayan Inn.  For an ocean-front view, the place was ridiculously

Okay, they botched the whole end-of-the-world thing but left us a decent hotel on Daytona Beach.  Well played, Mayans.

Okay, they botched the whole end-of-the-world thing but left us a decent hotel on Daytona Beach. Well played, Mayans.

inexpensive.  Despite some bad reviews online, I thought the hotel was fine.  Sure, it could have used some minor touching-up, but I’m not really picky on hotels, especially those on the beach.  In this case, four walls and a roof would have been more than enough.

I suggested the road trip to Sis.  She suggested Daytona – as she had been to the area a few times.  We basically just hung out, hit a few of the local bars.  Mostly we just wanted to get away from this God-awful winter that just hit Michigan.  I figured I would need a day or two to just relax after dropping off my Son.  This side trip was just long enough for me to clear my head and get motivated to get back home.

Tomorrow is, of course, New Year‘s Eve.  I for one, can’t wait to stick my foot up the proverbial ass of 2012 as we bid it adieu.  2013 could be a worse, year I suppose, but that is difficult to imagine. I’ll be attending a house party to usher in the new year.  Several people from the social club should be there. At first, I was absolutely psyched about the party – hoping to maybe meet somebody there, maybe even hang out with Red & SHG.  I was even considering getting a ticket to a club’s NYE party that is within walking distance, just to hopefully run into them – or anyone else for that matter.  Right now, I just hope the house party doesn’t suck.  I’m trying to remain upbeat while not setting my expectations too high.

a war of attrition

I haven’t put up an entry in 10 days.  The impending holiday and no classes has left me with a lot of down-time (but I got an entry or two that i’m working on).  Anyway, the down-time has allowed me some time to go through a “purging phase” and a little stroll down memory lane; but more on that later…

I got a text from the STBX this afternoon.  She basically told me to  let her know my plans for Christmas regarding The Boy (the separation agreement she originally had written up gave me the first half of his Christmas break, including Christmas).  To make a long story short, she was trying to jip me out of one day with The Boy, because she returns to work a day before he goes back to school.

After talking to her for the first time in ages tonight, Sis advised me of the math on The Boy’s holiday’s break; (BIGGIE props to Phred on this one!!) So I called the STBX back about one hour later.  The STBX, reluctantly with it – namely, the visitation as described in the separation agreement she had written up.

Of course, i’m expecting this to all change once she gets served…

flipping the script

As the calendar creeps ever-closer to Halloween, it has occurred to me that I need to start making travel plans for the holidays, either for my son, myself, or for both of us. About a month or so ago, I suggested to the SBTX that we alternate visitations for Thanksgiving and Christmas – as most divorced families do.  She was okay with it, and that was the last we said about it.

Last night, my son called me crying.  Sobbing actually, asking me to “come home” because he wants to see me.  I explained to him that I needed to talk to his mom about that very thing.  He was pretty worked up and tired so he got off the phone.  Since I’ve been looking into making a trip to South Carolina sometime in November, I decided to call the STBX a little while later.  She seemed okay with me making a trip down next month, but somehow we got on the subject of lawyers, and how neither one of us have been served papers yet.   Like most conversations with her, this one left me frustrated.

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I‘ve been saying to my family for the last several weeks that I didn’t think the STBX had filed any papers with her lawyer.  In fact, I’ve begun to doubt if she even retained a lawyer as she claimed.

As these thoughts weighed heavily on my mind, I decided to e-mail my attorney.  I asked him straight-out Where do I go from here.  Thursday morning, they e-mailed me saying they hadn’t heard from the STBX’s attorney.  The e-mail also included papers for me to sign so that I can file for the divorce.

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Before I moved out of the house in South Carolina, we had discussed how we were going to proceed with the separation and divorce.  Initially, we had agreed to a no-fault divorce.  She wanted to go through a lawyer she had chosen. I told her there was no way I was doing anything without my own representation. She resisted this idea, saying that two lawyers would make this a “contested” divorce and it could get expensive and “messy” in her words.  When I suggested we could go my lawyer (the one I ultimately retained) she vehemently refused arguing that she was “the one who had been wronged” and insisted on filing the divorce herself.  

Back to the present:  Since nothing has been filed yet, I have the opportunity to “flip the script” (as the kids would say) on her.  The only reasons I could think that she wouldn’t have filed are:

  • she didn’t want to spend the money
  •  she never thought I would leave in the first place

I’ve stated on here before that I don’t see us ever getting back together.  For me to even consider reconciling with the STBX, our relationship would have to undergo a seismic shift; not only in what our relationship currently is, but also what it once was.  I would not and will not consider returning to the status quo.  Frankly, I don’t forsee such an event occurring.  Furthermore, i haven’t even given it the notion very much thought.

In any event, this is an unexpected development.  One that I wasn’t prepared for.  This could make for a bumpy holiday season.

Stay tuned.

it was 12 years ago today…

I thought I had it all figured out.  That is, I thought I knew  what i was going to write about today.  I even started drafting an “open letter to the soon-to-be-ex” that I would post today.  For those of you who don’t know, today is me and the STBX’s twelfth anniversary.

In the 15 weeks since we’ve separated, my feelings have gradually evolved from love to hate. Hurt has turned into anger.   And now, finally, I am beginning to experience indifference.  It occurred to me when I was talking to my son tonight.  After getting off of the phone for the second time today, I cried a bit.  Then it hit me.  I miss my son and it hurts like hell not being with him – this much I already knew.  However, I am no longer feeling hurt by the STBX or the end of our marriage.   I’ve said all along that all that matters to me is my son.  With each passing day I realize, bit by bit, just how true that is.

Nothing else I do or say will capture my mood or feelings of this moment, so I’m not going to even try.

“What is past is prologue” – William Shakespeare

youth gone wild

I got a call from my son at about 2:40 today. He told me that he got into a fight at school, threw a pencil at another kid. to make matters worse, the school called the STBX so she would pick him up from school.

As I talked to The Boy, and the STBX later, I would learn that he was “sword fighting w/ pencils” with one student. Later on, he threw a pencil at the second student.

Not to minimize his indiscretions, but when one gets a call from their child saying that they got into 2 fights at school, one naturally thinks of fist-fighting. I called the STBX after talking to my son. Initially, we both thought the school was blowing things out of proportion. Sis (who taught kindergarten last year) informed me that in kindergarten, the teachers have to instill in the kids that school supplies are not toys and should be used accordingly. As she explained this to me, it made sense. After all, they are learning how to act and not to act in school.

From what the STBX said, this is not the first time he has been in trouble at school. Before, she (STBX) had chalked it off to him being bored. Even if that is the case, it is still inappropriate behavior, and we both told him as much today. However we would both be naive to think that this wasn’t somehow related to our separation – and even the my ex-father-in-law moving into the house for that matter.

It’s times like this that I wish I was still there. Not in the house, just nearby.

Goodbyes suck

At the gate in Myrtle Beach about 1 hour ago, the STBX had the temerity to be “so happy in to see him she had cried“.  She should try not seeing him for a month, with the prospect of not seeing him again for 3 or 4 months.

He started to cry as we said goodbye. That got me crying too.  I really didn’t want to cry in front of the STBX but I also want my son to know that crying is OK.

On the way back to the Shire…

The road back

En route up North with my son to spend some quality together before everyone goes back to school.

He was psyched to get on the road when we woke up Friday morning.  As we pulled into the hotel tonight, he had a meltdown; saying he wanted to go home to be with his mom.

The fact that he was tired certainly played a big part of said meltdown.  He is 5 after all and I’m sure he’s very confused by our separation. God knows I am.

Still, he hasn’t seen her in 12 hours and he’s freaking out.  He hasn’t seen me in a month; and while he was ecstatic 3 days ago, it’s like I’m old news. I’m trying to keep in mind the five year old state of mind, but it’s still hard.

from the lioness’s den

“Home is where you hang your hat”
Daniel LaRusso
The Karate Kid, part II

I’m blogging this morning from South Carolina.  My stomping grounds of the last eight years.

Two days ago, I made the trip down South to pick up my son for a week-long visit and to hopefully, tie up a few of the proverbial loose-ends with the Soon-To-Be-Ex.    I can’t even find the words to describe how happy I was to see my son again.  It’s only been one month; but some of those days felt like weeks.  My time with him has been an absolute blast so far.  To her credit, the STBX has stepped back and allowed us as much father-son time as possible while I’m in town.  The next week in Michigan is going to be pure, unadulterated fun.

Walking into my former home for the first time was surreal.  I blogged previously about how “you can’t go home again”.  In that instance, I was talking about returning to your childhood home.  I think that’s a sensation that almost every adult can relate to because, to paraphrase The Breakfast Club, we all ultimately grow dissatisfied with our home life; otherwise, we’d live at home forever.

What I’m talking about this morning is a feeling only divorcees can relate to.  I knew the my STBX  was going to be “cleaning house” in order to either make room her father to move in, or to pare down and move out of the state.  But when you call a place home, have a direct hand in the arrangement, configuration and overall spirit of said home – only to return finding it moderately altered – you truly realize that it is no longer the place where you once laid your head at night.  Granted, a large part of the void I felt was a result of our dog having to be euthanized within days of me moving out.  This feeling goes beyond the lack of any of my personal effects.  The most subtle changes, a new light fixture or a slight rearrangement of furniture reinforced the feeling that this was no longer my home.

I had several hours alone at the house today, during which I was packing my remaining personals. With all of these new feelings swirling within me, there were a few fleeting moments when I felt as I had during the last few months that I was still living in The House.  For the lack of a better word, I felt as if I was a guest in my own home, again.  This didn’t feel like home now and  it certainly hadn’t felt like home for the last few months I was here. This has only reinforced in me the idea that this whole separation/divorce thing is for the best.


I heard this song several times on my way down here.  While I can’t pretend to be a big fan of the Rolling Stones,  but the chorus is hitting home with me: “you can’t always get what you want  But if you try sometime, you just  might find You get what you  need”

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