My daughter turns four on Monday.

Besides the "Oh Em Gee, mah precious baybee is turning the big FOUR," things are a bit... awkward. See, my husband and I are separated, which means that he kept the house and I moved into my own apartment.

Which is fine - I can't begin to pay the mortgage on the house either way, and living small is turning out to be a pretty interesting endeavour; one that I'm enjoying tremendously. Most of the time.

But on Sunday, my husband has planned a party for our daughter - strictly friends and family that know her well.

And while I should be thrilled by the chance to bake and hang out with my kids, I'm riddled with anxiety.

It sounds silly, even as I say it, but going back to the house formerly known as mine isn't something that comes naturally. There are too many memories, too many bits of my past, and too many pieces of me still left in that house for me to feel comfortable there. It's not my house any more, yet it is.

I avoid going over there whenever possible.

On Sunday, my ex has invited (mostly) his friends and family to come and celebrate our daughter's birthday. And while I love a party like I love cupcakes and unicorns, I'm not so sure how things will play out with this arrangement.

There's this antiquated notion among people that if there is a divorce, it's because one person is the evil villain and the other is an innocent bystander. I guess that people always look for someone to blame, even if the two (former) partners are friends. It makes me want to scream, "Hey, it didn't work out, and we're okay with that! Why can't you be?" Except that screaming like that would likely land me smack dab into the psych unit and really, that's not necessary.

I hope that I'm wrong to be nervous about the party this weekend. I hope that his friends and family don't all stop and stare at me, The Circus Freak, as I walk into the house to celebrate my only daughter's birthday. I hope that people treat me kindly and that I'm able to relax and have a good time among those who love my little girl.

This is my hope.

And should I walk in and be treated as though I have leprosy, well, I'll manage to hold my head high, keep my skin intact, and enjoy the bonus time with my children.

If other people think I'm not supposed to be at my own daughter's birthday? Well, they've got another thing coming.

Now, can someone PLEASE pass the vodka?