You know that saying “the student becomes the teacher”? That’s me and my kids.
I had a long conversation with my son, the dawktah, (on his way, anyway), last night. He, like my daughter, is more wise than his years would indicate.
He’s a good blend of the modern kid who wants to eat locally sourced food, flush the toilet only when absolutely necessary, bike to school, AND, old school respect your parents and…whatever. You know what I mean.
He said about the divorce that it’s expedient for he and his sister to move on. They aren’t living the core of the drama and they need to fit their parents into their lives when they can. If that involves their parents’ significant others, and children, as the case is with their father, then that’s the gig. They’re down.
He was also gracious enough to listen as I made a few things clear to him:
- Even though I feel bad that I’m “not over it,” I’m not. Even though they’re comfortable with their dad’s situation, they need to not bring it up to me. In any way. Names, places they went to that used to be our family’s places, jokes. The building of their relationships. Time is telling me that time is the only thing that might change this situation one day. That day is not today.
- Sometimes I really need them. I don’t ask unless I really do, but when I do, I need them to take it seriously and find a way to be there for me.
- They need to realize I’m in a group of one — their father’s only wife with kids (so far) — that he has left. Therefore, only I know how it feels. And, I am empathic, so shit takes a long time for me to slog through. They need to be aware of that and honor it. Therefore honoring me.
- They need to realize that their dad may not be telling them the whole story, or “truth” if it makes him look bad. Not to make him into a villain, but just so they realize I’ve sustained some deep wounds, and I could still use some nursing.
- They need to take an interest in my side of the family. And, I need to reconnect with my side.
When their dad left, he took his whole family with him. The family we were closest to geographically and the family I had been a member of for 25 years. The one my kids are still members of without interruption. Not one of my ex’s family members could see a way to keep some sort of relationship going with me and also with him. That seems lazy to me, and mean, but I’ve actually never had to deal with it, so maybe it’s too hard. It is a loss, though. Loss, loss, loss. Lotsa loss.
I got that stuff off my chest.
He told me about starting his rotation in rural America, working with the town’s only doctor.
I’d call it a successful step forward in a relationship between a young man and his reemerging mother.