I wish I had something good to report.
That's not true, I do. A fair bit of the day was fantastic. It's this end bit that has me pounding at the keyboard, mad as a hatter, my son sent to bed for the night and my husband going to our friends' to apologize that we won't be dropping by their place for a campfire.
For a while there, it was magic. We bicycled down to the beach and, oh, what a beach. To me, Inverhuron Provincial Park has the best beach in Ontario. As good or better than the surf I frolicked in at Puerto Plata, way too many years ago to count. I do know that I was embarrassed about showing off my fat self in a bathing suit but back then I was positively Twiggy compared to now and now I don't care what people say about how I look. My friend Tammy and I were coming out of the water and she held a flutterboard in front of her because, "I hate coming out of the water and have people staring at me so I do this." I wanted to make some crack about how no one was looking at her because they were all staring at me saying to their wives, "Look, hon, there's a whale coming up the beach." I think everyone should hang out with someone who is larger than them; that way it doesn't matter what you look like.
I'm digressing, aren't I? That happens when I rant. What I'm trying to say is we were having a great time. We were all in swimming; gawd, the water was like pea soup. Sam said it was like swimming in lemon lime Kool-Aid because of the amazing colour; and the sand, that rippled sand that felt so soft on the toes. It was late afternoon before we finally got to the park and got settled in; then we hopped on our bikes, towels slung around our necks, and headed down for that glorious swim. The setting sun was still hot; other people who had been at the beach all day were leaving – the fathers' backs loaded down with coolers and beach umbrellas, chairs and floatey toys, their faces stolid, sunburned and grim. We had the water almost to ourselves and we played for a few glorious hours.
Then we came back and I made supper: brown rice, sauteed baby carrots and a strange-sounding but absolutely fabulous concoction combining a can of diet cola, a cup of ketchup and chopped raw chicken breasts. While I made dinner I let Sam play games on my laptop because, as he told me yesterday, the only thing that excites him in life is video games and computers. Apparently a day at the beach isn't even close to the levels necessary for excitement.
I put dinner on his plate and I knew right off that my picky kid was turning his nose up. When Dave and I made him eat, he got cranky and tearful and said, "If you guys hate me so much, why do you even make me visit?" See, for those who don't know, Sam and his big brother live full-time with his father because I was fucked over big time. Husband cheated, I hit husband with Dr. Seuss book in flaming fight, I call cops to get husband kicked out, cops take me to jail instead because I hit husband, I spend night in jail, judge gives me an order to stay away from my own house, I go live with my parents, kids come to visit me, husband wants full custody and is willing to fight for them, I have no money to fight it plus lawyer says I will never win because Dr. Seuss incident gives me a criminal record, so I don't bother. Ex husband and I arrange an amicable separation agreement because there is no other bloody way. I sit by and watch ex husband spoil children senseless with material things to assauge his guilt. He never makes them eat their dinner and usually feeds them french fries and chicken fingers. He never gives them chores. He spends money he doesn't have to win their love. I try to teach them better, but they don't appreciate rules or weird food. My oldest is 14 now and is at a point where he almost never comes to visit us because he world is the computer and his bedroom and his friends. Sam still wants to come, for the most part, and we almost always have a great time. Only he hates being told to eat his dinner so suppertime often becomes a battleground.
When he says we must hate him, we try to talk sense to him. Dave sits him down earnestly and pours his heart out about how much he loves him and asks for a hug. Sam barely puts his arms around him and doesn't say anything in return. Dave's heart breaks. Sam heads for his bunk. I call him over to me, determined to talk and cuddle and work things out. But things don't work out and I get angry. Instead of cuddling, I send him to bed.
Now we're all depressed. Day one of our vacation isn't turning out like we planned.
Some days I could just stick my head in a toilet and flush it.
My children are growing up without me and I can't stand it.