I didn’t spend much time at the smoke house today. (Yeah, I think that’s what I’ll start calling it.)
In between work e-mails, reading, and communicating, I transferred post fire inventory images to my hard drive and uploaded them to Flickr (they’re private, sorry). But, after a few hours work at the farm and a couple at the Clinton Kitchen, I headed over to take a few more images and toss a few more items in the dumpster.
Got through some more appliances, carpets, various & sundry, and then, since I had a little more energy in me, I started on M’s toys.
Let me just say that it’s a fairly open secret in the community whom everyone thinks was involved in this fire and why they think it was set–and the theory isn’t just about “kids messing around.” There may not be enough evidence to convict–yet, but I just want to say to the culprit, Have you no shame?
I had to toss four boxes of toys today–not everything worth a lot in monetary terms, but all worth a lot to my little boy.
And then I remembered, for about the millionth time today, that today is M’s first day of school. It’s his first day of fourth grade, and mom is having to toss about 90% of his toys that resided at my home–not to mention every stick of his furniture–his bed, his dresser, his bookshelf.
And then I got upset. OK, I got really frickin’ pissed. And by frickin’, I mean the other thing I don’t say in front of my child.
And I got pissed for another reason, too. Because, while it has remained a fairly quiet fact at this point, it is nevertheless a fact that my ex called on the Monday after the Friday I got back to survey the fire damage to say he was moving M again. Moving in a week’s time.
This will be the third time in five years the ex has uprooted our son and moved him to a new school district–and each time farther away from me. I tried to remedy the distance a little over a year ago when, during a three-day stretch in late July I both took the ex to court for a change in custody (having been yanked about on the subject for a few years previous) and interviewed for my current position.
While I love my job (it felt sort of “stars aligned”), I would not have taken it had the judge decided to make a custody switch. However, he told me he thought I was a good mother, and my ex that he needed to get over his issues, but thought M was doing well enough that the evidence didn’t warrant a change. That was pretty much the expected outcome, but I had to try.
So, I took this job which also meant moving a couple hours’ drive closer to my boy–an amazing win-win. But I would’ve given up the awesome job for the rootedness M would’ve felt in the little house in Vermillion, not to mention the fact that my partner, H, still resides in that community. Frustration with teaching be damned.
So, for the last year, visitation has been a lot less stressful on everyone. Now, it’ll again be a commute.
But I’m not exactly sure how far that commute will be. Because the other problem is that my ex, despite my specific and direct questions, has decided that I don’t really need to know exactly where he, his new wife, and my son are living. Sure, I know they live in a certain town (well, sort of–I guess they’re staying in some kind of golf course community outside that certain town–at least until they close on their new place–the address of which I also don’t know).
This withholding of basic information is, of course, completely illegal. The last response I received to questions about written notification of the move was answered by a text message reading simply, “We’re moving.”
Maybe the question about having no shame should go to a couple different people.
I’m probably working through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief you hear about: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The thing is, I’m not sure I really went through denial–at least about the fire (maybe before I got back and saw the place). It’s stuff. No one was hurt. And there is much that is salvageable.
But if I am in those stages, I sure as hell know which one I’m in now.