As you may or may not know, today is Elliott’s 15th birthday. Today also marks the second birthday in row that he’s celebrated on COVID lockdown. While Lizze and I are trying to make arrangements for the boys to go over, it’s not a quick process. There’s a lot of planning that goes into visits when you are in the middle of a pandemic and have high risk people in both households.
Elliott is bummed because he wasn’t going to be able to see his mom on his birthday. As bad as this is going to sound, I was excited to to hear that he was feeling this way. The reason for that is not because I’m a dick but rather it shows me that he is indeed healing and moving forward. He’d been very angry with her for a very long time and that’s totally understandable. At the same time, while it’s important to embrace those feelings, we also have to move through them as well. The fact that he was so upset that he wasn’t going to be able to see her, tells me that he’s moving through it. As a parent, that makes me happy to know.
Does that make sense?
Just to be clear, it’s not that he wasn’t going to see her. She was going to stop by, drop off his cake and do a drive by hugging. We were going to open his birthday presents over the Portal so she could be a part of it.
That wasn’t enough for him and again, that’s totally understandable.
It’s so heartbreaking to see any of kids go through this, especially on their birthday. So last night I called Lizze and made a suggestion. I offered to bring the kids by for a double masked, socially distanced, mini-birthday party outside. It’s not going to be perfect and we’re only going to stay about 20 minutes. It’s also going to have to be outdoors and it’s pretty cold. However, he’ll get to spend a little bit of time with his mom and grandparents on his birthday. I wish it could be different, but I have to make the priority safety and Lizze agrees.
We’re going to show up, the boys will get their hugs and then we will put some physical distance between the households. Elliott will open his presents, rather his present, because some are taking forever to arrive and we will be on our way. I feel so horrible about doing things like this but until everyone is fully vaccinated, there’s no chance I’m risking anyone’s safety.
I know that the COVID numbers have dropped significantly but not nearly enough. The numbers are starting to climb again and with the new variants taking over and being significantly more dangerous, no chances will be taken. Honestly, doing what we’re doing today makes me uncomfortable but I think we can safely pull this off.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Divorce doesn’t mean the end of being a parenting team. It’s so important that contact with the other parent is prioritized. Kids need both parents whenever possible. If you’re trying to navigate something like this in the middle of deadly global pandemic, with high risk people in both households, good communication is vital. All things considered, I feel like we’re doing pretty good so far.
I’m hoping that by making this happen today, Elliott will be able to enjoy his birthday a little more. With any luck, we’ll be back to celebrating in person sooner than later.