Tough

We’re halfway through the second week of school.  Got E enrolled in football and got all his gear (thankfully the majority of it on sale–Nike cleats for $30.00!!) and he will play in his first game on Saturday.  It’s just crazy. With FB practice, he’s now at school from about 7:30 am until 6:30 pm.  So far, no homework, but I have no idea where that will fit in.  Yesterday, G sort of had another meltdown.  Weekends, when she is basically alone with him while I work, are really hard for her. But, she makes it worse for herself. She clings to this idea that if she tells him something ONCE, he will remember and do it but immediately and from now on.  And be enthusiastic about it.  I’m sorry, even under the best of circumstances, teenagers aren’t like that–or if they are, they are the exception to the rule. She got divorced from her son’s dad when he was about 10 and went into the army, so she was a long-distance parent through his adolescence. She has never lived with a teen on a daily basis.  Even though my daughter ran away and did all her other crap, for the most part, she lived in the house and I dealt with her every day–messy room, laundry wars, eating, ballet lessons, getting her to and from school, etc. G missed all that, so she thinks he should be acting like an Army recruit, up and at ’em and ma’am, yes, ma’am!! And I’m like, chill OUT already. If you want him to do something TELL him, again, again, again and again.  Do you want it done? Then TELL him.  But no, she wants to insist that he “get it” the first time. And when he gives her the pout face, she takes it personally. I keep telling her that she’s setting herself up for failure and disappointment. The other parents in the parenting class say the same thing. The facilitator says the same thing, but she won’t hear it.  I am trying not to let her depression, anger, bent out of shape-ness affect me, but it’s hard.  When your partner is so obviously emotionally distraught or frustrated, it’s HARD not to take it personally even when you know it doesn’t really have anything to do with you. 

And she’s utterly furious with my daughter.  Really, she’s been mad at her pretty much from day one after we met, when she realized how she was, but this thing with E was the last straw. For me, right now, I feel completely indifferent to her. I don’t really care if I ever see her, the boyfriend, or the other two kids again.  I guess I feel a little bit worse about GS2 because he’s caught in the middle, but ever since they moved up to Denver, he pretty much made no bones about the fact that he wanted E out of the house. Even when I went to his school for an after school program when we went up to see the baby, when one of the teachers came over to chat, he mentioned his new baby sister and then said he wished his older brother was gone so he would be the oldest.  He wasn’t kidding. Just because you’re only 11 doesn’t mean you can’t be rotten.  So E. has to deal with knowing that his brother, to whom he was closer than anyone since the kid was born, now wants nothing to do with him.  He (GS2) called this past weekend and started whining about his bike.  When he was here last for his birthday, he left the bike with his cousins who at the time were living down the street.  We asked him several times if he was sure about that because we couldn’t keep an eye on the bike and those kids pretty much destroy everything they touch (5 kids and a single dad who works and a grandfather who’s supposed to “watch” them but is pretty much hopped up on drugs most of the time).  He was adamant he wanted to leave the bike there. We KNEW it was because he didn’t want E to ride it.  Now the cousins have moved, we don’t know where, and even before that, the bike was pretty much history, and he whines to me that he “accidentally” left his bike there. I wasn’t having it.  I reminded him that we asked him over and over if he was sure he wanted to leave it there and wasn’t it too bad that he didn’t have a bike now.  Just another thing that E. has to deal with. We’ve told him that if he doesn’t want to see his brother, that it’s okay, and he won’t come visit.  We aren’t going to force him to be around people who have made his life miserable.  Later, maybe things will change.  And, I’ve decided that if GS2 wants to come down and it’s okay with E, that my daughter can damn well bring him down here and pick him up on her own steam. She has a car now, and got her drivers’ license back and got insurance, so I’m done going out of my way for that.

I’m working on keeping an even keel. We went back to the gym (FINALLY) yesterday and that was good. I managed to do the entire Silver Sneakers cardio class and only had to not use a hand weight with my right arm/shoulder. Everything else I could do.  We had lunch out and talked about getting “us” back. We had a leisurely afternoon after that. I made dinner and picked up E after practice and we went and washed the car.  Then G and I had a fire in our new firepit and I burned old bills and tried to toss some of the past into the flames along with the paperwork. It helped.

This morning, I got E to school, picked up Starbuck’s for G, took Skittles to the groomer, took G to the bank, came home, made a batch of breakfast burritos to freeze for E, rearranged the living room, cleaned up the kitchen, took care of paperwork and started laundry before I got here.  G’s off helping a friend finish up a rental property she owns and I’ve got more laundry to do.  Maybe I’ll get the binding done for the quilt I was working on months ago. Did I even blog that I started quilting earlier this year? No? Well, that’s another subject to put on the list. We have our parenting class tonight–more than halfway through and it’s really been a big help for all of us. 

I guess we just thought at this stage of our lives things would settled down a little bit.  But maybe being settled isn’t the best thing. Maybe we needed the shake up. Maybe we needed something different to happen. It’s not what I would have chosen, but maybe the Universe has a bigger plan for us.  Who knows? All we can do is the best we know how to do and ask for help when we need it.  I keep referring back to good ol’ Abraham–you can’t get it wrong and you never get it done, so I guess the best thing I can do right now is relax and go with the flow.

Hand me a paddle and wish me luck.

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5 thoughts on “Tough

  1. The universe does as it will and we rarely get to know why..you and G. you have probably saved a life and the outcome will be in the future. We would love to go to his ball games so let me know when and where they are. S. loves school sports..being the retired teacher she is. hang in there, there are lessons here even for someone who has not been there before and Jesse taught me that trust is hard to give but oh so necessary to have for a young person.

  2. You are doing a wonderful thing for your grandson. Hard, yes, but so worth it in the long run. I hope G learns to chill out – she’ll feel better if she does.

    Hang in there, woman!

  3. You and G are awesome for E! Literally lifesavers. I do hope she learns to relax and treat him like the KID that he is….and tell him and tell him, etc. We’ve all been there and done that. No kids are perfect, but I am sure he loves you for it! Enjoy the football! I miss seeing MIchael play baseball now.

  4. As a sister lesbian family I have a lot of empathy for all three of you in this newly parenting situation. When my sweetie and I began dating her three children we’re in grade 2, 4, and 7 and we were very intentional about sorting out our relationship, how I might begin to co parent, and I was thrilled to be a parent. That said, I think step parenting is the single hardest thing I’ve/we ve ever ever ever EVER done, so I have huge empathy for ALL of you. Our kids are now 26, 28 and 30 and we have one grandson and two to come soon. It does get better.

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