There's nothing quite like two hours of divorce mediation to suck the life force right out of you. I wasn't expecting Round Two to be fun; I never imagined any part of divorce would be fun. But I keep getting blindsided by details I manage to ignore until it is no longer possible. Today started out okay, with a little tension around the division of assets, but that's to be expected. Really, John gets the short end of this stick, so I feel guilty, and I don't like feeling guilty or worrying about whether he's feeling cheated. I got over that pretty quickly, though, because the law is the law and I'm not going to be some sort of divorced mom martyr. But at one point we were hammering out the specifics of the custody schedule, on a yearly basis, and that's when I realized that I will spend every other Christmas without Grace. And we will most likely be in different cities. Whoomph! Between now and the time she graduates from college, I will celebrate just ten Christmases with her, including the year she's twenty-one, assuming she still wants to come home and see Mommy. There was this awkward silence while all of this was going through my head, and when I glanced up, the mediator was staring at me as if I'd just inadvertently farted and was horrified, which must be how I look when I'm trying really hard not to cry.
It's not as if I hadn't given this any thought. It's just that I never let myself consider the worst case scenario. Instead I focused on those divorced couples who each remarry and spend the holidays together with all their kids and stepkids as one big, happy family. It happens, really — I read it in Newsweek. But both our families are out of town, and I can't imagine either one of us will choose to stay here rather than be with them. So that particular fantasy has been shot to shit.
I won't get started on the prospect of Grace having a stepmother. Every time I try to wrap my mind around that possibility/probability, I feel as though I'm going to vomit.