Looks Like We Made It – by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

We did it. My son and I successfully got through our first “alternate parenting” weekend that the court requested. Although hectic, we had many different activities planned. Playdates, (but not for seven hours), movies, a carnival and sweet, bonding time. What made it even more special was that we had so much to do, when my husband called to speak to my son (which he did A LOT), my son would reply, “Daddy, I’m busy with Mommy right now. I’ll have to call you back.” It made me feel special this week, but I’ll probably be in tears when I speak to my son on the phone next week as he says the same thing to me.

It is what it is. My son is going to soak in all the attention he can get while he is with each of his parents.

I was worried at first that we would end up staring at each other out of boredom. However, because we had to take two Sunday’s worth of activities and cram them into one weekend, we were on the go from dawn to dusk each day. Even the time change didn’t slow us down!

During the few playdate hours, I was able to get my household chores out of the way. We spent hours putting together Lego contraptions. My son put this 454 piece aircraft together in less than two hours. I spent hours helping my son put together a different aircraft that was impossible to figure out. We actually brought it to the Lego store to have them help us (the difficulty lied in a faulty piece that they ordered for us and are sending to our home, free, with free shipping). I still say this Lego craft is for Harvard bound eight-year-olds!

My favorite part of the weekend was the freedom of knowing that it was sacred to my son and me. As I mentioned, we went to a carnival, played in the park, saw a movie, (coincidentally with five of his friends from school)! We ate out, I cooked good wholesome meals, not having to worry whether my husband would like them or not. We went shopping, we realized that we both have interests that are similar and vastly different, but that’s okay. Respecting our differences made us realize that we don’t have to love doing everything together. We can sit side by side on my son’s bed and do our own things, but enjoy each other’s company. My son said I am a good foot warmer. He likes to slide his cold feet under my legs.

I am interested to see what I feel next weekend when my son is with my husband Friday through Sunday night. The house is sure to be eerily quiet. Our dog will be at the top of the stairs, lying down, chin hanging over the top steps. That is his position when he waits for my son to come home. He may whimper softly. I may join him. I know I won’t be as productive, even within my own home. Not having anyone at home sort of kills your desire to “keep busy.” Who do I need to cook for other than myself?

We’ll see. I’m sure I’ll be conjuring up a weekend full of plans for “my” next weekend. I also have new bedroom furniture pieces I would like to put together for my son. That would be a nice treat for him to come home to. There are also shelving units for my bedroom that I would like to finish. I certainly have several things to keep me busy. Despite my name, I do have Irish heritage in me and I make a mean corned beef and cabbage! That will, no doubt, be on the agenda!

I already know my son is not thrilled about going to stay at his Grandmother’s with my husband. I had to remind him of our new arrangement when he asked whether we could do something he wanted to do this coming weekend. He became very sullen and quiet after that. But he wasn’t willing to share any of his feelings yet. He will, though. In time.

Meanwhile, I’ll be sharing corned beef with my dog this weekend. Maybe a treat like that will help lift both our spirits. And maybe, the luck of the Irish will also be with us.


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