The tree is up and standing mostly straight in the living room downstairs. Balancing a five, almost six, foot tree in the stand was a challenge but one which I was able to conquer. Some challenges are doable. Others take more time but are not impossible. Nothing is impossible.
I was awake early this morning. It was not yet 4am but I had fallen asleep before midnight and had already slept a few hours next to one of the kids. At the moment, I cannot remember which bed I slept on albeit I'm guessing it was Sage's. I texted my boyfriend, wishing him a 'good morning'. He wondered why I was up at this time.
We chatted for a while and decided to meet on Skype in an hour. In the meantime, I went downstairs to take care of the dishes in the kitchen and to make space for baking. I planned on making another revision to my spiced chocolate chip cookies. The revision was very tasty albeit next time I might leave out the white chocolate chips. Later this week, I plan on making more of these cookies for Saffron in addition to a few other choices.
The children stayed a night longer with me this time. They were to go back to Papa's place last night but he asked if I could bring them back a day later. I did. He also requested my meeting his new girlfriend. Seeing how they have been dating for a mere three months or so, I did not find it necessary to meet her at this time. But I obliged his request.
'Be nice to her' he advised me. 'Warned' me is more like it. He knows there is nothing American about my Croatian nature. There is nothing 'stepford' in what I say. I tend to tell things as they are but I tried being nice. Had the 'meeting' lasted any longer than the 20 minutes, I have no doubt things would have been more 'real'. Being fake is not something I can do.
The meeting was awkward, to say the least. They invited me into my former home, all the whilst fussing over the children trying to get their shoes off. Sage was having a fit over wanting to see the Barbie doll his sister Saffron just showed me on my iPhone via Skype on the way here. He insisted on seeing it on my phone only, not on any other device. I later realised he was fighting back in his own way against this new arrangement - this new way of life.
I kept waiting for an introduction, an assertiveness. None came and I then offered my hand and introduced myself. Meanwhile, Sage insisted I come ice skating with them as the new girl explained they were all going ice skating. I had to tell my son I could not come. He is too young to understand what is going on. Too young to realise things will never be the same as before.
The subject changed to moving. My ex informed me the day before his new girl did not wish to move too far away from her home in New Braunfels. I made it quite clear I had no desire to move outside of Austin and if I was to move outside of this city, it would be to Ireland with the kids which he forbids me from doing. He mentioned their needing a larger house for all five children - three of ours and two of hers - but the house we were all standing in was large enough for all. There is no need to get anything larger.
I explained how my lease on this place expires in April and how I need to give notice shortly after I return from Ireland in February. Then I stood there as she spoke in her dainty timid voice trying to counsel me about my choice of residence and moving my kids to another school. She made it known they would also be marrying in the summer. Or at least discussing the possibility of marriage.
She reasoned since my move is temporary, in that I am not planning on buying a house anytime soon and they are, it somehow meant I had to follow them because of her reluctance to move. I did not say as much as I would have liked as this would quickly have turned from 'nice' to 'naughty'. The discussion was over for now.
Time will reveal how this story unfolds. For now, I stand my ground and move forward with my life as I see works best for me and my children. Next year will be an interesting year indeed.