Since the separation between myself and Dave, Amanda has been terrified of the word "divorce." She has always understood that we aren't ever going to be together again and that our marriage is over, but the mention of "divorce" brings her to tears. I can understand why...divorces are usually ugly, bitter, and gut-wrenching.
Now, our separation has included many ugly, bitter, gut-wrenching moments, any reader of my blog can see that; however, our actual divorce has been OK. This morning was our first court date, which was a status conference. Dave and I drove together to the courthouse, a trip that took about a half-hour. We were oddly comfortable with each other, but we were both awkwardly aware of the fact that we were heading to a courthouse to begin to sever our union.
We arrived early and sat together outside the courtroom doors, snickering to ourselves when other couples would exit those doors with their attorneys by their sides, walking as far away from each other as possible. On the bench next to us a couple was arguing their own case, the man talking about landscaping rocks and work he had done, the woman reading an itemized list of something-or-other and money that was spent. Dave and I both quickly agreed that no amount of energy was worth being spent on such nit-pickiness. What a nightmare.
His attorney, Bonnie, finally arived, a short woman dressed casually in slacks and a blouse, coffee in hand. She was my kind of woman, no fuss, no muss. We were introduced, and when she was told we drove up together, an obvious look of surprise and relief washed over her face. We joked around a bit and she kept giving Dave a hard time, almost as if she was trying to get on my good side. I took it in stride, laughing along with her but not participating in giving him crap. I didn't want to give her any reason to believe I was pretending to be nice while shooting digging sarcasm his way.
Our meeting with the facilitator lasted about five minutes, and afterwards we decided to all meet with Bonnie in a couple of weeks to hash things out and get some decisions made. Both Dave and I conveyed that we wanted to be fair with each other and just get it over with. She couldn't have been more pleased.
We then stopped to have lunch together at a pizza buffet, again enjoying the familiarity of each other, but still finding ourselves in the occasional awkward silence. As far as I'm concerned, any time we can spend together on good terms is time well spent. We brought two of the most amazing kids into this world, for which we are more proud than words can express. Amanda and Brandon deserve the best in this crappy situation and I sincerely hope we can do right by them.
I always expect the unexpected with Dave, especially in the situation we're in now. I don't know what will happen when we meet with Bonnie in two weeks. I can't guarantee we'll be as civil and patient with each other as we were today. All I can do is focus on what's best for the kids and make decisions that will benefit them more than anything.