It was the last day of school for the children for the year 2016. The day for holiday parties. And the day I would see my children. Though my son stayed with me last week, I had not seen my daughters since the day they left for Florida close to two weeks ago.
They were delighted to see me and I them. I noticed how all three children looked as if they lost weight, particularly my oldest who has always been thin and small for her age. Whenever I look for her in a crowd of her peers, I simply look for the smallest person in the group.
'You're wearing black like me' exclaimed Saffron with delight. I looked at her feet and she was wearing sandals. I was wearing boots. She handed me a beautiful string art Christmas tree she made for me and told me she spent the past two weeks making it. I took it to my car where it would be safe and returned within minutes.
Her party was the last one of the day and the one which seemed was the most fun for the children. There was a dance-off, photo booth, dessert bar, a popcorn machine, and children kicking around beach balls. My daughter stayed by my side eating a cookie and talking but that did not last for too long.
Less than 20 minutes into the party, her father showed up with his wife. I was glad to have had the time with my oldest as she was soon whisked away by her stepmother who did not even bother to acknowledge my existence as the mother of my daughter. She simply claimed her as her own as she walked around and talked to the other mothers.
I tried to stay as close to my daughter as I could but felt strange about the incident though I should not have. She is my daughter and I had not seen her for the past two weeks. I sensed my daughter felt caught in the middle of the situation as well.
'I feel like the third wheel' I texted my husband. I wished he was here to be by my side. He told me to ignore her, which I did. They decided to leave before the party was over at which point my daughter was 'allowed' to go hug me and let me know they were leaving since there was nothing to do. I hugged her and said goodbye.
As I walked away, I tried getting a last glimpse of my daughter. I would not see her and her siblings again until after Christmas.
In twelve days.