The Children Come Home

Finally, the day had arrived to pick up the children.  It was time to say good-bye to my care-free summer and get ready to get the kids back to school and look for a job.  Real life was once again intruding on me and I was torn about saying farewell.  I knew that once summer ended, I wouldn’t have anymore totally carefree days, well, probably ever.

The exchange went well.  I’d already decided that I wouldn’t get out of the car.  The children were perfectly capable of getting their things transferred between the cars and after enjoying all the peace and freedom of summer, I refused to subject myself to Bubba in any way.

I was very worried about re-integration.  The children had had two months of no rules, no consequences, junk food galore, and I fully expected them to run amok at home.  I especially worried about Shane.  He fights my rules.  He thinks they shouldn’t apply to him.  I was afraid that after doing what he pleased all summer (including playing video games all night long), he would really rebel against having rules.

You can imagine my shock when I found day after day that the kids were better behaved then they’d ever been.  They were kind to each other, they listened to me, they cooperated.  I became convinced that Bubba had somehow broken them all.  I fully expected massive fall-out from their summer with Bubba and instead I had ideal, perfectly behaved children.  They were all so thrilled to be home and getting what children need – stability, good food, and rules – that they were just drinking it all up.

On the other hand, I wasn’t handling it so very well.  I was constantly on edge.  I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I was waiting for the raging and rebelling to start.  I was also having problems with the fact that I was “Mom” again.  “Hope” had to be put away because I once again had responsibilities.  I couldn’t just decide to go out, or run to Hannah’s house, or sit on the porch half the night with Sean.  I couldn’t sleep in and I couldn’t sleep naked anymore.

Eventually we settled into a nice routine.  School started and I was seriously looking for a job.  I’d given myself till the end of the month to find one because that is when I needed to start having an income.  Bubba was also due to start paying child support on the first of the following month so that would help.  I wasn’t holding my breath though because he’d gotten fired in June (the 4th time in his career – I’m starting to see a pattern here), so I knew getting a job was important and I had to do it NOW.  I would be out of the settlement money by the end of the following month so I wanted a one month buffer of income.

Within the month, things were going to get seriously unpleasant.

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