Somewhat calmer today. Last night, spoke to two of my chiildren, the STBX had sent my daughter off on a sleepover with a friend. Children never cease to amaze me with their angle on the world at large. The 8 yo is very excited about his new home. Taking Sadie's advice, I asked him how he was feeling about his new home. He told me at great length and in great detail all about the house (it needs a bit of painting), the garden (would be great for the dog, even though its not as big as our one here and they even left us a football), his bedroom (it's already got loads of shelves Dad, so I don't need to take my bookcase), the carpet (needs a good clean Dad), the cupboard under the stairs (would be good for storing food in), the outside cupboard (that would be a good place to put a freezer Dad), the pond, the garage (its got a workbench Dad, so when you come, it will be really useful for you.....). I asked him what he thought he would take with him, and what he would leave for when he comes to stay. Very clear ideas about what he wants to do. Seems to be very well adjusted to the idea already. Clear too about coming back to stay with Dad.
My eldest, the 15 yo was a very different story. He obviously felt very awkward about talking to me about it. I reassured him that he wasn't to feel that he was being disloyal to either myself or his mum by telling me how he was feeling. All I wanted to know was that he was happy with the arrangements and his new home. He was quite clear that he was unhappy about the way that mum had introduced the idea - it obviously had come as something of a shock to him. Understandable. We went on to talk a good deal more than we usually do about some very adult things. He wanted to know if there was any hope of a reconciliation, whether myself and his mum would be friends, what would become of the hotel, where the dog would live - he felt it should stay with me, because it was unfair that I was being left on my own. Sweet, because it was genuinely from the heart. I talked to him about my concerns over his schoolwork and exams, how he was welcome to stay with me whenever it was practical, but not to take this as an opportunity to play me off against his mother. He surprised me by telling me that a friend of his at school had done that, and it had backfired on him, so he regretted it deeply. For a grungy spotty teenager, he is turning into a thoughtful young man - scary!
So I feel at peace with how my kids are feeling - a little apprehensive about them going, because I know I will find it terribly difficult without them. But at least they know I care about them. Hope I can repeat the performance with my daughter without getting myself upset. That will be tonight's task.
Atmosphere with STBX is very tense. Try to avoid being in the same room at the moment. But not long to go now. Looking forward to having a bedroom again, although she is taking the bed. Have spent the last 9 months in various hotel rooms, sofa's, kids beds and function room on a z-bed, dragging my possessions around in a suitbag, a couple of bin bags and two laundry baskets. Changing rooms every 3 or 4 nights gets a bit wearing. So something positive on the horizon. Would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their support. It was much appreciated.