Even though I’ve been divorced from my ex-wife for 11 years, we’ve never lived more than five miles from each other – until now.
Those five miles have become 1,500 miles, as Theresa moved to Texas this summer to be with her husband, who was transferred to Houston for his job.
For the first time in those 11 years, my house becomes the sole home base in the area for our two kids, who are both in college in their home state of Maryland.
I always thought I would be the more likely one to move, but things can change fast in life. Theresa surprised me and beat me to it. With the kids’ mom no longer in the area, I feel some extra sense of responsibility to stay close even as I’m developing a growing sense of wanderlust for a new environment and a fresh start as I transition to a new counseling career after 28 years in Maryland. The dynamic gives me conflicted feelings.
Theresa’s Texas move marks another type of transition. During the kids’ years in secondary school, I saw Theresa on a regular basis for school events, athletic activities, certain family gatherings and transitions of the kids from one house to another each week. Though we didn’t talk a lot, we were cordial and always had the chance to discuss situations concerning the kids when necessary.
Now our estrangement is much more complete, as the saying goes, “Outta sight, outta mind.” The combination of both kids’ entry into college, my summer away from home teaching tennis at a resort and Theresa’s move has resulted in minimal communications. Perhaps that’s just the way it is with divorced parents when the kids leave home, but I still believe as parents, we have the common bond of our kids forever and we shouldn’t lose touch. We know them best and care about them most. Ideally, I believe we should not be strangers. Perhaps that’s unrealistic.
I anticipate being virtually out of touch, now that my ex-wife is Deep in the Heart of Texas.