It was Thanksgiving last Thursday and the stars aligned in such a way that my usual 50% custody of the kids was whittled down to something close to 18% for the entire holiday week. As divorced parents know, this happens around the holidays with the alternating week/alternating year dynamic of shared custody. Did I miss them? Yes, I did.*
Jodee and I had never had this kind of adult time alone. The first thing she did was run out to the drug store and buy us, you guessed it, a 1000 piece puzzle.
It was a collection of works from Norman Rockwell's covers of the Saturday Evening Post. After we'd finished the edges and I'd gotten through the better part of an image of two USO volunteers fawning over a blushing soldier eating donuts and spilling his coffee, I began to secretly wish my life was filled with that kind of sunny small-town iconography. Then I realized I was sipping coffee on a crisp December morning in my country home while doing a puzzle. There was even a cat.
When, and if, I ever get the kids back home, I'm going to force some Rockwellian moments upon them this holiday season for sure. I know, not all of them will take. My most idyllic plans involving the boys are the ones they take particular pleasure in ruining. I haven't forgotten Halloween.
But next weekend we're getting our tree. I'm sure I can coax the boys into indulging me in some completely contrived good cheer and holiday kitsch. Afterall, tis the season for shameless bribery.