The Power in a Name

Posted on | April 10, 2015 | 1 Comment

I dropped J off with his grandmother this morning at a little Chick Fil A between her house and mine. He waved, I waved, we blew kisses and then I was off, back on the highway and headed to work.

It’s funny, because I vividly remember, when I was first getting divorced, the feeling that spending weekends without my child would be excruciating. I remember sobbing that it wasn’t fair that I’d have to have days and one day weeks without him. It was, perhaps, one of the hardest things to swallow about being separated from marriage. But as the years have passed, I find now that I look forward to these weekends, these little segments of time when I am free to just be… me.

I remember saying to my Granny once that it must be difficult when everyone who knew her as just “Audrey” were gone. I remember thinking how hard it would be to feel like you were anyone other than “Mom” or “Granny” or “Great Granny” when there was no one there to call you different. Because there’s power in being called by your name,  I think. There are memories stored in the letters, thoughts and ideas and dreams about who you were or are or once meant to be.

When J goes to spend a weekend alone, I have time to not be “mom.” When I leave the office that Friday, I’m not “Ms. Attorney.”  And though I love all my “names”, the one I love the best is just… Karen. And these weekends apart from J give me time to just be her. I can recharge the battery of who I am outside of my child. I can revisit the parts of me that I keep tucked and folded in the cedar chest of my memory. I can be the Karen I sometimes forget to be when I’m knee deep in the daily grind of being lawyer and mom.

When I left J today, I rolled the windows down and turned the music up. I sang loud to, lets face it, not even borderline just straight up “inappropriate for mom” songs. I danced like a crazy teenager. I blew bubble gum bubbles so big that they made me laugh just from looking at them slightly cross-eyed. I texted Banks when I got to work and asked to go dancing. I made plans to play in a corn hole tournament with friends.

I was just… Karen.

And it’s nice to have these weekends… these moments when I don’t have to be anyone to, well… anyone. It’s what so many moms miss out on, I think, especially if you don’t find a group of people who know you as someone and something other than “J’s mom” or whatever title follows you around during your weeks and months and years.

This weekend, I’m going to just be Karen. No one else.

And though I thought weekends away from my child would be the hardest thing about divorce, I think that maybe they are one of the best.


One Response to “The Power in a Name”

  1. Sharon
    April 10th, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

    I am a mother of twin 3-year-old boys who is NOT divorced, and I have often thought that, should my marriage end in divorce (G-d forbid), having occasional weekends to myself would be one of the benefits of that sad outcome. So I get it.

    Sadly, between being a mom and a lawyer myself, I’m not sure I even remember who “just Sharon” is most of the time anymore. Good thing there are still lots of people in my life who can remind me.

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