So if you remember, at 31 years old, I decided to become a doctor. The process impacts my life as a woman and as a mother more than I expected. I am saying goodbye to my old life and old habits.
Today is one of these farewell days.
I come back earlier from work to take care of Lina’s hair. Tomorrow, she will go to her best friend’s house for a sleepover and therefore, she needs a new hairstyle. Cole comes back at his usual time and finds us both in the living room having the usual mother-daughter argument around hair management.
“Mummy, it hurts.”
I see him smile at this familiar conflictual scene, as he opens the letters. I smile back. For a second his eyes fixed the paper he just took out from a large brown envelope. He stops smiling. My heart immediately races. He puts the envelope back and does not say a word. I follow him with my eyes and form silent words with my mouth: what’s going on?
I don’t want to alert Lina. He shakes his head. “I am going for a run, my princess. I will see you later.” That’s all he says. He changes and runs out of the house with no eye contact.
“Let’s take a quick break, Lina” I suggest. I don’t wait for her reaction and pace towards this mysterious brown envelope. My hands sweat, as I imagine the worst.
It was the final decree officialising our divorce.
“Mummy, can I watch Frozen?”
The official paper confirming the death of our marriage… I am speechless.
I am distracted by a range of emotions I just can’t tell from each other.
I am the one, who filed for the divorce petition. Shouldn’t I be thrilled?
“Mummy?” Lina waits for my answer.
“No, Lina,” I respond. “It is time for us to discover other movies than Frozen.”
Lina frowns her confused eyes.
“Why? We love Frozen”
“We do love it, but we reach a point where sometimes things we love hold us back and prevent us from self-discovery,” I explain to Lina. Or am I just explaining this to myself?
Obviously, her response is “Mummy I don’t understand.”
“Just pick another movie, Lina.”
As we watch The Princess and the Frog, my phone vibrates. Cole sends a message:
Cole: at my sister’s tonight. Tell Lina I got to work.
Difficult to concentrate in these circumstances, but eventually I finish Lina’s hairstyle, which she adores.
Once alone in my bed, a tear surprises me. Then a second joins in, and in no time, there is a festival of tears rolling down my cheek. Tears of sadness, tears of happiness, but most of all tears of change. I know I wanted it, but change is fucking painful.