Why I Had Sushi For Thanksgiving

Yes, I traded turkey and dressing for a dragon roll and a side of Edamame.

Why? Because the holidays suck. There I said it, holidays for the divorced with children are usually filled with grief, loss, guilt and intense competition. By chiding the cranberry sauce I hoped the fact that I was all alone on such a big “family day” would quickly pass and my pity party would end, but no amount of seaweed salad could suppress my sadness.

I am one of those women who got the short end of the custody stick. I do all the grunt work while my eX enjoys the holiday bliss with my children. I do all the heavy lifting, to include getting up early to feed, wash, dress and hurry the kids out the door to school each and every weekday.  I am also the one to plow through homework, peas and flossing often met with tears and frustration on both ends. We “primary custodial parents,” get the unrelenting joy of shuffling kids to and from school, soccer practice, ballet lessons, doctor visits, field trips, church and the oh so fun dental exams. The co-parent (yea right) gets to sleep late, make pancakes, play video games, watch football and buy an endless amount of crap to endear them to their young. They never have to concern themselves with their children’s dental hygiene, college fund, fiber intake or times tables. Co-parenting for them means simply having fun with no regard for the mundane and unappreciated tasks of being the primary parent. Our roles, although necessary, are truly unappreciated and uninspiring. Drill sergeant, tutor, trainer, chauffeur, chef, therapist, personal assistant, ATM machine…these titles receive more respect than “primary parent”.

So is it worth it? Is it worth losing my children every Christmas to be rid of my eX. It’s a question I have asked myself over and over and the answer is always yes, even while I sit in the fetal position in my closet clinging to my chopsticks. Every holiday I have images of my child sitting at a table full of family and friends with a twinkle in his eye and a drumstick in his hand, adoringly staring up into is fathers eyes.  Or sitting near a roaring fire, feverishly unwrapping presents, sipping on eggnog and singing carols by the piano. It’s very painful to imagine as I choke down another California role, but also very far from reality. The truth is I know that family and once endured the holidays with them and it was anything but holiday merriment but rather a clinical study of family dysfunction. The typical attendees would include the grandparents and their dueling carnival style facial hair, the atheist uncle, the narcissistic eX and the hillbilly kissin’ cousins. A day riddled with awkward conversation, used toys, unmet expectations and over cooked poultry. The whole debacle usually ended in a drunken brawl while the coon hounds feasted on the Rocky mountain oyster stuffing.  I was miserable and truth be known, so are my children, and that should be my focus.

So I am bidding my solace adieu and savoring the last of my pickled ginger while I prepare my letter to Santa which reads:

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a reality check and the selflessness to focus on my childrens’ holiday and not my own.

Domo arigato,


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