Thursday, April 28, 2011

Custody is the First Step

Hey, can I call a short sabbatical on attempted quality writing?  Just for today?  I am so awfully sleepy.  My short rations are catching up with me.  Maybe something slap-dash today, huh? 

Day 10, finished. It feels like it has been weeks.  I'm always amazed at the low number. Ten.  Just ten.

Still missing.  Always wanting.  Today was a little better, though. I know from my experiences over the last months that this relief is temporary, but y'know? One day of respite is enough to let me adjust the burden and keep on going.

I managed better, I think, partly because I woke up with his voice in my ear.  A couple weeks ago he sent me a text and told me that spending time with me made him feel calm and peaceful.  That is exactly how I felt this morning. I popped up out of bed and got choppin' on my day. I can't remember the words I heard, but the meaning was clear.  The trust and confidence I woke up with has faded now, but I HAD it.  For me, with no faith in love, that small flame was real progress.   (Not that the workings of my subconscious mean a damn thing.)  (Hah!  There you go!  That's more typical Kate.)

The other thing that helped me was just being busy as hell all day:
  1. Woke to the realization that, if I am going to get lasered today, I need to shave first.  Dang!  Into the shower I went.
  2. Kids:  breakfast, hygiene nagging, bed checking (Nate was dry all night again!), slip signing, one last run-through of Nate's poem, etc... All the usual. Out the door.
  3. Rec Center:  3 miles.  Changed at the rec so I didn't have to go to the mediator in my ratty hoodie and stinky sweats.
  4. Mediator.  Two and a half hours...oof... She continues to amuse me.  Showed up today dressed to the nines again, but clutching one of those gargantuan Holiday Oil mega drink mugs.  The gaudy clowns on it were such a sharp contrast that I was very amused.
  5. Work!  Because I have a job- a detail the mediator kind of forgets.
  6. Bugged out of work for a few minutes in the afternoon to get a bikini blast.  Which means advance application of the dreaded (bum, bum, baaaaah!) numbing cream.  I wash my hands twice after I put it on; but even so, one careless move that gets a finger tip in my mouth results in a numb tongue.   AKA "hyuhg nuh".
  7. More work.
  8. Girls on the Run.  They did their practice 5k today, and each girl was matched up with a woman from the community to be her running buddy.  I probably only ran a couple of miles, 'cause I had some chores.  A phone conversation in Spanish with one girl's grandma, reminding her that Natalie needs to have her running shoes.  She ran her practice 5k today in boots.  Then I spent some time putting stickers on girls as they ran past me on the sports field.  12 stickers means they have run 5k.  Finally, a little time running with Mia, who didn't have a running buddy.  She is in 6th grade, so she's older than the other girls, and she is a really good runner. I finally wore her out by teaching her about wind sprints.  "OK!  From this cone to that one!  FASTERFASTERFASTER!"  This, to ensure that I could keep up with her on the rest of the lap!  I have short legs, but I like sprinting. Once I get going and the momentum is moving me forward, it feels like flying.
  9. Grocery store.
  10. Home, a little drinkie-poo, make supper.  I cheated tonight and just got a roasted chicken and a crusty loaf of bread from the store.  Then I made a spicy miso cucumber salad to go with it. I thought it was pretty tasty!  But it got voted off the island by everyone else in the family.  I suppose when I am living alone, I can eat cucumber miso salad all I want....
  11. Supper was a quickie so we could get out the door for the Real Salt Lake vs. Monterrey FC match.  This was the championship showdown of the CONCACAF tournament, and the stands were packed!  20,000 roaring fans.  We lost in a total smack-down.  Embarrassing.  So funny to watch the Monterrey players jumping around and kissing each other in a silent, sulking stadium.  Sara told Nate that the reason they lost was that Nate didn't wear his Real Salt Lake jersey.  He wore his new Chelsey FC jersey instead, and hence, the loss.  He believed it and got teary-eyed.  I must just air one small peeve about stadium etiquette.  It is a giant booger when five guys in the front row of the deck decide that they are going to just stand for the entire match.  This means that everyone behind them also has to stand for the entire match. I can be sweetly assertive when I need to, but I can't stretch my influence forward 15 rows.
Today's mediation was all about child-related issues.  How are they taking the news?  How did we tell them?  Does one of us have to wear the "black hat"?  ("No," says Si.  "Yes," says Kate.)  We worked on hashing out custody.  Si came to the meeting prepared with a custody plan.  It incorporates solutions to two problems:  that we both want to be able to have weekend time with the kids; and that I work on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  Si's plan is that he will have them every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night; I have them every Sunday and Monday night;  we alternate Friday and Saturday nights.  But if you incorporate this, we end up with Si getting them 202 nights per year, and I only getting them 163 nights. 55% vs. 45%.  And that means that I would be expected to pay Si $180 per month in child support.  Even Si was a bit surprised at the calculation.  If Chad were here, I think he would tell me to insist on taking the kids every Wednesday.  That is too much back-and-forth to be good for them, I think.  Or Chad would tell me to keep them on some T/W/Th blocks and hire a sitter.  Well, that racks up.  Plus, the law gives Si the right of first refusal before I hire a sitter for more than three hours.  And it would have to be a sitter who drives, because they have most of their soccer practices, Girl Scouts, etc... on T/W/Th. 

So, I'm stressin'.  He likes this custody plan, and I agree that it's sensible.  But...  He makes more!  He is suggesting making it up to me by not asking me to pay for 50% of the kids' health coverage.  There are some other possibilities. It's like I told the mediator:  all the pieces that we need to bring  together are floating in the air above our heads, like in Willy Wonka.  Every time I pull something down to examine it, I realize that the necessary prerequisites  are still floating. 

Si is not as mad as he has been, though. I don't know if it was because he came out ahead in this first part of the negotiations?  But he was pretty friendly for the rest of the day. Good enough that I could ask him questions at the soccer match and he would answer them.  He made me a cup of tea when we got home.  He's leaving on a long business trip on Saturday, which is a relief to me.  He says that I don't like him, so I'll be glad when he's out of town.  It's not that.  It's just a break from all the tension.

Tricky.  Divorce is tricky.  Since we are mediating, I think I could move out at this point and we could start trying the custody plan to see how it works in practice.  My friend Kristen has found some pretty good deals on rent in this neighborhood.  Two bedrooms, $835 per month? 

But now?  I am off to bed! I'm too tired even to spell-check and it is almost 2 AM.  Tomorrow!  Bed by midnight!   My goal!  

1 comment:

  1. Kate, two bedrooms under $900 is great if the neighborhood is okay. I don't know how your cost of living compares to ours, but I would consider that a good deal.

    I so remember the mediation thing. At least your mediator sounds like she has a brain. Ours was more bent on giving us guilt trips and didn't help at all.

    Thinking of you during this difficult time. Be good to yourself!