The Old Switcheroo

It’s switcheroo day… again. The day when the children leave my house and go stay with their dad, or the day they come back to stay with me. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, or hope against hope that my kids would be, but no… someone has left their only pair of flip flops at Daddy’s, and tomorrow is a camp day. Someone’s left their charger at Mommy’s, and the battery is only six percent. Their dad and I will only go so far to appease the kids. Blankie? Yes, I’ll put it in your mailbox; Library book? Can you just drop it at your branch?

This is our co-parenting, 2013 style.We swap the kids every two to three days. My ex and I chose this instead of the week on/week off plan, because it just seems easier for everyone, with no one missing anyone too much. Well, that’s the idea anyway. Do I feel like crap about it? Most of the time, yes. Especially when one of my kids says pleadingly, “But I want to stay here with you, Mommy!” or simply, “I hate switcheroo day! “Yes, baby,” I say, “I hate it, too, but Mommy and Daddy love you both so much we want to see you as often and as evenly as possible.”

Driving home alone after drop off, I picture my children years later: my son drunk and stoned at a high school party, railing against me (wearing only one flip flop); my daughter at the therapist’s office, wearing all black with heavy eyeliner, crying about the unfairness of her life and her unusually high library fines. I know this might happen even without being raised in two homes, but there are times when it is difficult to assuage my own guilt.

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