A Mixed Birthday Bag

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. I cannot help but remember the way it was a year ago, when I thought my happiness was almost complete, the only thing I was awaiting was my baby’s arrival into the world. I never even thought that a year later I will be a divorced single mom.

Contrary to what people might think, I was raised into the belief that a marriage simply has to work. A married couple accept each other the way they are and learn to live with the bad and cherish the good. I did my best for the first seven years of my marriage, I changed and adapted to my new lifestyle as much as I could – yes I could not turn myself into a domestic goddess quickly enough, that was my only shortcoming. I denied myself even wanting a family and a child of my own, and I learned to live with all the rough edges of my husband’s personality. I would have stayed in this imperfect and flawed relationship if he hadn’t wanted out. Yes, I am still grieving over my marriage, and as the days pass the ugliness does not want to go away.

The last thing I wanted was to see my ex on my birthday but unfortunately I had to. Lucy is away in the Transkei and I have to rely on Robbie’s dad to look after him while I go to work. We had an argument over money, and he was again unfair and abrupt. I could not help but raise my voice then I felt so bad when I saw the look on my son’s face as he was getting ready to be driven away. I was left with the unpleasant realization that things might never improve between me and Rob’s father. Again I had the overpowering desire to put an ocean between us.

The incident left a bad taste in my mouth, but I soon cheered up when I picked up my new camera phone. There will be pictures again on this blog, and they will be good ones, because my new Sony Ericsson K810i has a 3.2 Megapixel camera. A regular digital camera will have better resolution, but the phone takes good enough snapshots for blogging. I am using up enough bandwidth as it is, and I do not want to start uploading bigger images. I brought some sweets for work and received the well wishes from my colleagues, my mandatory two minutes of fame followed. I also got the obligatory birthday card from the company in my locker. These little things helped me get over my antagonistic feelings against my ex, and combated my feelings of inadequacy and failure.

When Robert’s father brought him home he was in his pajamas. Dad had bathed him and he was all ready for bed. Dad also had a change of heart and paid me back the amount I asked for. I am sure he felt he was doing me a favor but I know that it was only fair. Nice and kind though is something or somebody else, my ex barely conceals his hostility towards me. While I try hard to play indifferent, and train myself not to care and not to hurt.

At the end of the day and when Robert went to bed I finally logged on to my computer and received more greetings from friends and family. The day was wrapped up as it started; in the morning my friend Anuschka surprised me with a phone call from Johannesburg, and in the evening I opened my present from Jackie, and then went to bed shortly before midnight after playing with my new cell phone – the present I spoiled myself with. In all it was a good day, with a few flaws. My 37th year was the strangest yet in my life. I experienced the joys of motherhood and then the final disappointment of divorce. The year might have ended with a sad note, but I want it to be relegated to the past. This year things can only get better.

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