I'll be chronicling my new life as I go through the divorce process and I hope you'll follow my journey. If you're looking for me to bash my ex, that won't happen. But if you're looking for a woman and mom excited for a new life, if you find it interesting to read about the roller coaster of emotions and all of the things that come with starting over... then join me here.
I remember when I was a kid, my family had a plan in place if anything bad ever happened in our house. We would meet at the end of the driveway by the mailbox. I don't remember what circumstances this was for -- A fire? A burglar? An earthquake?
I also remember making a plan with my then-husband after 9/11: should any thing happen again and we couldn't reach each other and had to leave NYC, we would walk over the George Washington bridge and meet at my brother's house in New Jersey.
Since having kids, we never came up with a new plan. We haven't had a plan with our kids' babysitters either. It's not that I haven't thought about it; I often do. But what is the right disaster protocol plan?
And now that we're separated what is our plan? We should have something in place. And Hurricane Sandy is the perfect excuse to really figure one out.
I was one of the lucky ones. I was in Los Angeles for work when the hurricane hit. So while my mom's house filled with trees, while my sister was and is still without power, while my kids rode out the storm with their dad, I was livin' the life in LA. But I was far from La-la land; I was a nervous wreck not being with my kids. I wanted to know every detail about what was going on at home. I wanted to know if they were scared. And all I could do was check in by text and phone. What if the phones went out? How would I know if my kids were okay?
I planned it out in my head as best I could without having a real strategy. I let my ex know where I was staying and what room I was in instead of relying on cell phones. I had my own system; I Googled his building and watched Google Earth. I had a list of friends I could call to check in on them. But what if internet went down? What if there were no phones?
It's hard enough when my ex doesn't answer the phone on any given day. I'm learning to accept that people miss calls for a variety of innocent reasons (you didn't hear it, you're in the shower). And on ordinary days, the anxiety and stress when I can't reach my kids is bad enough; imagine my nerves in the middle of the hurricane!
Their dad is fully capable, but there is something about not being with your kids during a disaster. My house was fully stocked with food and water, but was his? My apartment seemed safer because I'm in an older building and on a lower floor. I even offered it to my ex thinking it was best for the kids, but it seems he was perfectly comfortable and apparently stocked up just fine.
It's at times like this that being in two homes is most difficult. It's at times like this that I realize there is so much we haven't thought about. What should our plan be? If we weren't in separate cities? Would we have weathered the storm together? If it wasn't for my business trip to the West Coast, I don't know how I could have been in the same city as my kids during the storm but without them.
It's time to figure out a plan. And luckily with the storm approaching this week, I'll be with my kids this time.