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London Calling: A Hopeful Transatlantic Visit to Fill A Void A Mom Cannot

I am sitting at the airport gate, waiting, with my children, to board a plane to London.

When I return in two days, I will be flying alone.

I am dropping them off in London for a three week visit with their Dad. My first transatlantic drop off since his post-divorce move back to England (he told us one Friday and was gone by Monday), leaving our children confused and upended. It was my job to pick up the pieces and repair the wounds.

It has been nearly six months since my children have seen their father. A real tragedy. And I see the impact on their lives.

This year at school, my 10 YO started writing school essays about her Dad’s abrupt departure (prior to his leaving, they spent nearly every weekend with him) and her life “feeling like a blur,” just as we started at a new school. Well, that was awkward. Me trying to project stable single mother to the teacher and principal and my daughter decides to bare her soul. I commended my daughter for expressing herself in her writing, celebrated that we share a common expressive outlet and promptly took her shopping, yet again, for a fresh diary, lovingly suggesting that this might be a more appropriate place to vent her feelings.

But I know there is a void that I cannot fill, try as I might.  So I am at the gate waiting. Putting my life and my work on hold to deliver HIS children to him, on my time.

For my children, I put myself through much. Sometimes I think, too much.

And my son. My boundless, fearless energetic 6YO boy. A few weeks ago, an old male friend of mine stopped by for a visit. In the middle of us all talking and laughing with the children, my son jumped into this man’s lap and just sat there. My dear friend, knowing the situation, just let him be and later gave him a hug. It was clear my son needed that male attention and affection that I cannot provide. Seeing that made me cry. Writing about it makes me cry still.

So I am at the gate.

Trust me, England in the wintertime, days after a snow storm closed Heathrow airport, is not my idea of a “holiday.”And I think that if you have to travel 3,554 miles over an ocean to drop off your children to see their father and endure the uncomfortable interactions with ex-inlaws and what not, warm and sunny weather should be a guarantee.

****

We are now on the plane and everyone is finally sleeping. I am not. Despite my tiredness, I am wide awake.

Anxious.

Hopeful. That this visit will be all that it needs to be for my children, who are coping with gaping voids. And trying to make sense of it all.

So, I am coming to you England, with your crooked streets, addictive tea habits, your dreary weather, your heavy coins, and double decker buses and the place I used to call home, hoping that the two little pieces of my heart will find a little peace of their own and reconnect with important piece of their selves.

(This post originally appeared on my blog at Momformation. Please leave a comment here and check out the conversation over there.)

Comments
6 Responses to “London Calling: A Hopeful Transatlantic Visit to Fill A Void A Mom Cannot”
  1. Krystal says:

    Bless your heart. I can feel a piece of your emotion through your writting. God bless you.

  2. CoCo says:

    Saying a prayer for you and your little ones. This has to be “challenging” for all of you.

  3. Karen Colert says:

    Kimberly,
    I remember meeting you years ago at a Children’s Fair; I think your oldest child was still a baby. I’m so sorry to hear that this is the direction your life has gone. But I know that God will give you all that you need to handle it…with style! Hang in there and I hope there’s a silver lining to this trip you are taking.

    • Kimberly says:

      Hi Karen
      Thanks so much for commenting, I just love the photography on your website–you’re doing beautiful work. Congrats!
      But I think my life is like anyone else’s life–it has its share of challenges, and its ups and downs. But I am ever so happy with the direction my life is going–forward!
      Please keep reading.
      In motherhood,
      Kimberly

  4. Niecy Taylor says:

    You are brilliant, fabulous and phenomenal. This winter break was my first time allowing my 2yo to spend the 2 weeks in Baltimore with dad. His dad flew to NM to get him, I flew put for Christmas day, and they’ll return on New Years Eve. Thank you for sharing your emotions on this journey. Just know, your efforts are not in vain. Praying God’s covering on you and your children.

  5. Michelle says:

    Hi Kimberly

    Welcome to dreary London. When get a chance to take a little Me Time I do visit your website however the subject field jumped out at me when glancing over my inbox and to be honest I thought who on earth want’s to come here… I read your blog and am so sorry things have happened the way they have.. Somebody sent me this and I thought I would share it with you.

    Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

    “Challenges make you discover things about yourself you never really knew.”

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!”

    God Bless You

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