When September Ends

August flew by in a flurry of novel-writing and back-to-school, so this three-day Labor Day weekend was the first time that I could actually step back and think, “Ah, yes — summer is over.”

Most Septembers usually feel like the first month of the nearly three month teaching marathon until that first break in November (Thanksgiving).  The little guy’s birthday at the end of the month is usually the only major thing going (as my youngest sister’s own September birthday my family had long ceased to officially celebrate in nearly three decades).

But the one new major event this September will be the finalization of the divorce process that began back in March, which should happen sometime this month, before the little guy’s birthday.

After all the ups and downs of the official process and the “unofficial” process of the previous year (when the Hubby and I separated in March 2010 and my little sister moved in September 2010), what I mostly feel right now is — well — relief, mixed in with regret and resignation.

What the Hubby and I know now is that — eight years after our wedding in Texas and eighteen years after our hook-up in Italy — that we shouldn’t have gotten married.  I am happy to say that we’re pretty good friends now, as we were three years BEFORE we hooked up in Italy.  We wish each other no ill, and we’re here for each other in an emergency.

As for the rest of our everyday lives — he has his, and I have mine, and that’s as it should be.  It’s as if the intervening eighteen years — from our hook-up in September 1993 to our impending divorce in September 2011 — is now boxed up and put into archive, along with yellowing class notes and brittle Polaroid photographs.

When September ends, I will officially be a single, working mother, an identity that I have privately embraced but have yet to make public, especially at work, where a number of my colleagues know and admire the Hubby and know that we’re married.  Funny enough, it has been easier to broach the subject of my status with my students, many of whom are single parents themselves although, unlike me, are struggling financially paycheck to paycheck to “fake it until I make it.”

It has always been so, that my financial and working life has been a relatively calm sea of success, while my personal life has been — um — dramatic.

With being a working single mom, active in doing my job, raising my kid, and supporting my younger sister, that component of personal “drama” — dating, negotiating emotional boundaries with a non-related male, blah blah blah — is a burden that I don’t have to carry anymore, a burden that I didn’t even realize WAS a burden, until I didn’t have it anymore.

I can hardly wait when September ends.  Maybe, by then, that Green Day song will stop recurring in my mental playlist.

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