Someone Else's Wife . . .

One of the most fascinating parts (of which there are thousands) of sharing custody is the beloved and dreaded tradition of "Nightly Phone Calls" (all capital letters to show respect).

On the nights that I have our daughter, I plan the evening around them and on the evenings I don't have her, I plan the evening around them. 8:00 PM-ish. Every night.

Every night is a different conversation and every one of them is unique for good and bad reasons. Last Wednesday was particularly interesting. I answered the phone to an excited kid. She had just returned from her school's "night" at Chik-fil-A (some of the proceeds of every homophobic chicken sandwich sold go back to the school's fund) and she was very happy to say the least. A) She loves chicken. B) She loves Chick-fil-A. C) She is a very happy kid.

She beamed "Guess what, Dad?"

"What?", I inquired.

"Luther (not his real name) asked Mom to marry him tonight and she said 'yes'!"

Dizzy feeling, light head, stomach flip, pulse race, heavy breathing, and a suddenly speechless tongue.

"That's, that's . . . exciting for them." I mumbled, before changing the subject back to some joke about equal rights and chicken sandwiches that flew way, way over her head and sense of humor. We moved on, pretty quickly, to spelling and vocabulary.

Six days later I'm still trying to find the words for how I really "feel" about all this. My ex and I have talked about it. A few times. I know the specifics and the date and the location. I even know the honeymoon plans. I know how big it will be. I have seen the ring. We've even had a celebratory hug. Truthfully - I love weddings. I love happy people. I love the idea that a woman I once made happy is (and hopefully always will be) happy with someone else.

I like Luther (not his real name) and I like how he is with my daughter and how much she seems to appreciate and enjoy him. I have no reason to feel uncomfortable with or about him.

Nope. This is more about the rest of it. The inevitability (frankly - I knew this was coming and I am sure she presumes the day will come that our daughter will inform her of my plans to follow suit) is one thing. I should have been more prepared and ready, though. The idea that a woman who once stood with me while we each promised to have and hold the other until one or both of us died is another thing. It was years and years ago that I knew that was not going to happen.

So WHY am I still struggling over this? WHY is this in my head and under my skin?

I don't know. I really, truly don't. I just hope that it is eventually "normal" for me. Not that anything ever, ever is.