All for show

The Household didn’t head to the Royal Easter Show this year … I’m wondering if that counts as another post-separation milestone?

Going to the Show is one of the things we’ve done every year as a family. We decided to preserve the tradition when we broke up.

As the saying goes: marriages come and go, but divorce is forever … especially when kids are involved. I’m certain my ex and I would never deliberately see each other again post break-up if we didn’t have children together.

Children bind you until they’re adults and even then tiny threads remain, keeping you tangled together.

I figure you can fight it and make life crappier for everyone involved or you can go with the flow and try to make the most of it.

If you can manage it, I’d recommend going with the flow.

It’s worked well for me in the postive parenting – and healing – stakes

Although, as I recall, that first post-break-up Show was a bit weird. It was less than two months after we’d broken up and I was still pretty raw.

I confessed on the blog a few years later: “I was obsessed with being on my best behaviour, I suspect in the ridiculous hope he’d realise I was totally awesome and change his mind about leaving me. Nah. He’d completely moved on already.”

But there were signs that the “new me” was struggling to the surface.

Normally, I would wait patiently on the sidelines while the rest of the family went on rides, but I thought bugger it.

Bugger the insane expense, bugger the fear.

I started with a tango train ride that made me giggle and squeal. Then I moved on to the Taipan – the photo speaks for itself really …

We had lunch together, went to the animal pavilions, watched a bit of dog show judging, suffered my ex’s favourite – wood chopping, grimaced in horror at a hairless cat in the domestic animal pavilion, survived the show bag pavilion.

I acted cool about it on the blog afterwards, raving about how much fun we had. But, in truth, it was a little arduous. I wrote: “Driving home felt just like old times, until Husband dropped the three of us off and headed back to his place. That was back to the real world with a bit of a thud.”

It’s gotten easier every year.

On our second post-separation visit I bought a Scooby dog thingy that I spotted in one of the produce pavilions …

My ex initially vetoed it. In a lightbulb moment, it suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to pay any attention to ex-vetoes any more. If I wanted a Scooby dog thingy (a sausage, cheese and seeded mustard wrapped in pastry) I could have one. So I did, and fed mouthfuls of it to the kids under his disapproving eye

I’ve had better junk food, but it was … interesting … and contraband, which always adds flavour.

After our 2016 visit, I wrote: “Now it’s like going to the Show with my brother or something, it’s very laid back.”

Last year we enjoyed tea and scones at a trestle table in the CWA cafe while elderly  couples smiled dotingly at us. I couldn’t decide what they were doting about. Was it the chirpy, blonde 11-year-old? Was it the mascara-covered emo teen who’d grudgingly come along with their mum and dad to the Show? Was it the happy family unit we appeared to be?

I noted on the blog: “Well, we are happy, and a family, but you know what I mean … my ex joked afterwards that they’d have been shocked if they knew our situation.”

And I’m sure this year would have been much the same, but we’ve all been a bit too sickly to contemplate it.

If I’m to be honest, I was a little relieved to skip it. I think he might have been too. Sure, we get along really well, but it’s a looooooong time to spend together. I don’t need that sort of quality time with him any more and I’m sure he’s the same.

We didn’t mention to the kids that we’re weren’t doing the Easter Show this year and they didn’t bring it up either, until last night when the youngest suddenly started griping about missing out.

The youngest loooooooves the Show. This pic of her on the way home in 2015 cracks me up …

The eldest is probably at the point where they don’t want to slouch along with their parents at the show all day, I mean what if they met someone they knew???

It even happened with the youngest in the supermarket recently – I was instructed to push the trolley ahead and pretend I wasn’t related to her when some fellow year 7s wandered past.

End of an era. I never thought I’d say this but I’m going to miss the youngest sticking to me like a limpet on outings.

I wonder if the kids will ever miss us sticking to them like limpets at the Royal Easter Show each year?

Song of the day: Barbra Streisand “Memory”

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