It started last week, when my teenaged son told me to go to hell. So I told him that for his birthday present, I’d give him life without a mother. And I’ve not gotten in his way since.

And he has apparently been delighted, going around doing his thing, apparently not missing a mother at all. Of course, that meant I couldn’t be around when he opened his Christmas presents — more of a hardship to me than to him, obviously.

What I hadn’t expected was that my husband and daughter, who I thought did love me and want to be around me, enjoyed opening presents without me just fine. Just because I couldn’t join Daniel without violating my word didn’t mean they had to. Why on earth should my son decide he wants Mama in his life? His father and sister are around to keep him entertained and do things for him. Each laugh and happy comment was like a stab directly into my heart. And in a few minutes, they’ll eat the dinner I cooked — without me. Why did I want a family, if this is the way they treat me on the most family-centered holiday?

Peter did insist I come to a short Christmas Eve service at his church last night. I guess that means once he’s had a token Christmas time with me, he can ignore me to spend the rest of Christmas with our son with a clear conscience.