On Thursday I received my decree absolute.
This is one sheet of A4 which says, in a nutshell, you've buggered everything up and are now single. Some people, I know, celebrate when this comes through (Absolut Vodka party, anyone?) but I feel sad. Just sad.
This wasn't meant to happen in my life. I didn't sit at my desk at school and think "Yes! I'm going to be a famous singer in Madonna's backing troupe, get married, and then GET A DIVORCE! It will be FAB!" I thought I'd select a handsome, funny and kind husband, have two children, who will then have many grandchildren, and we would all have marvellously chaotic and colourful Christmases with overdone sprouts and too many Quality Street. We would all sing carols around the much loved but slightly out-of-tune piano There would be candles. And snow. Lots of snow.
Well. Perhaps that will happen one day - to a point at least. But there will never be that core family that you see in films; from It's a Wonderful Life to Home Alone - the nuclear family rules at Christmas. They argue and shout and pull crackers and cry with happiness and watch telly and get in each other's way and snore and occasionally dribble. I would like to be in that family.
My ex has said that he doesn't want to see the kids this Christmas. He has not decided to to this because he doesn't want to see the boys; no. He has done this because, taking them for a day means, in his eyes, that I get an extra 'day off'. And I cannot be having that, can I. So, in the true meaning of 'cutting your nose off to spite your face', he is not seeing them at all.
So. My boys and I will spend Christmas Day with my Dad and his wife, my uncle, and a family friend. We are all going out for a posh meal and no doubt the boys will be made a right royal fuss of. On Boxing Day we are off to a friend's house for mulled wine and rounds of Stille Nacht (she's German, innit). And then follows several days of Xbox, DVDs, walks, board (bored) games, friends, lie ins, late nights. Topped off by NYE at a friend's house with boys the same age.
I hope the boys enjoy themselves. I remember Christmas being a magical time. So magical in fact, that I refuse to desist trying to keep it alive by making reindeer food, leaving something for Santa and trailing as many fairy lights as I can inside and outside the house. I have stockings, sacks, hats, crackers, cake, mince pies, stollen, panetone (don't even know what that is), and Baileys. I sing carols until I'm blue in the face.
I try too hard.
Tomorrow is my last working day and then I'm free as a bird until January 3rd. So let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, whether married, single, divorced, poorly, sad, or full or life and laughter. I hope you have a fantastic time with your loved ones.
Merry Christmas everybody!