When ChaosMonkey first told me that he wanted to come home during this week at his dad’s, I told myself it was because he and his friend were in the middle of a project. Multiple times this week he has mentioned how this visit feels like forever and he misses everyone here. I told myself, and him, that missing people you love and like to be around is normal, that we’d be here for him when he got back (which isn’t entirely true as his good friend is moving sometime this summer). He responded with that begrudging “I know” that means that he does know but he doesn’t want to admit it because his emotions aren’t lining up with the info. I get it. I get him. We read each other really well… scary well somedays.
Today we were talking, like we do every night I call his dad and my kiddo picks up. He’s had this underlying stress the whole visit, this whole summer it’s been building. Summer visitation started out… badly, to put it mildly. His dad stood him up for Father’s Day… again. When we go to see his dad, the car rides to the meeting place have been abnormally chatty and the car rides home even more moodily silent than normal. Tonight, though, tonight broke my heart.
The conversation had already gotten a little strained due to him wanting me to address some misinformation his father had told him (according to my son his dad had told him we/this side of the family was going on a two week vacation and I never once told him we were doing that) and I wasn’t going to argue with him on the phone. When it comes to his schedule and his sensitivity to KNOWING what his schedule is the most helpful thing I have found is to sit him down with a color coded calendar. This is something we have since about the time he started seeing his dad. Not knowing when he was or wasn’t seeing his dad was very distressing for him.
Towards the end of our conversation I had to tell my youngest to stop poking at the left over pizza (He’s learned how to make stepping stools, so fun for mom! lol). When ChaosMonkey heard we had pizza for dinner he almost broke down into tears. He felt like he was “missing out”, which he is in all factuality. Pizza is a special treat for our family, usually accompanied with a family movie night once a week. I had to explain to my child, my child, my child who already wanted to be home before this, that our lives don’t stop because he’s not home. I have already had to explain that the family events we won lottery spots for were while he was gone and he was going to miss them, it was beyond my control. I had to explain to him that we specially plan our family events and trips to make sure he’s with us as much as we possibly can.
His response? His response… “Yeah, I know”. The resignation in those three little words would break any parent.
This is the same child who, just days before during the car ride to go to his visitation with his dad, asked me why his dad didn’t want to give me the recipe for the pizza dough they make over there. Doesn’t he realize that in not telling me what the recipe is that he [TheEx] is keeping ‘good stuff’ to himself instead of sharing it which means he [ChaosMonkey] gets less ‘good stuff’? (To paraphrase)
My son is nine. Nine years old. Is this normal for a nine year to concern himself with?
I miss the psychologist he was seeing back in the last place we lived. The books he’d written on this very subject were so helpful and eye opening. He was really good with ChaosMonkey, too. I wish we could take ChaosMonkey back to see him, again.
I want my son to be happy. I want my young man, who is showing all the signs of hitting puberty much earlier than I am ready for, to be a healthy, happy individual with as little parental baggage as possible. I hope to God that he learns from my/our mistakes. I see a lot of myself in him; naive, trusting, thirsty to learn, and attracting the worst kind of people imaginable. He has had more “friends” take advantage of him than I can count. I tried to be the protective mom when he was younger and I have tried to step back as he’s grown and let him see the results of those judgement lapses and then discuss what happened and what he might do to avoid similar situations in the future.
ChaosMonkey has an underlying desire to be a guardian, even more so than his male driven desire to be a “knight” or “hero”, he wants to protect above all else. He is creative and compassionate while also highly analytical.
Sometimes, I wonder… Hell, I wonder a lot, let’s be honest with myself now. I wonder, if I had been a better teacher would he have been the next DaVinci? Could he still be?
I try to balance his desire for knowledge with his need to play. He may be a book-thirsty old soul but he IS only nine and loves to run around outside and act like a goof whether he admits it or not. I’ve seen him, I’ve heard him laughing with his friends. It is something I miss while he’s gone.
Good news, though! I guess he couldn’t color at his dad’s house because the colored pencils didn’t put enough color on the paper, but they got him a big box of crayons so he can color now. Yay! I know he will love that.
I am exhausted. I was up in pain till well after two last night and the toddler was thrashing around on my head, literally throwing himself onto my head, the rest of the night. Keep him in his own bed, I know. We both sleep so much better when he’s with me, usually. Especially after my husband leaves for work. Hence, I have spent the whole day zombified but now I can’t sleep because of all the thoughts regarding ChaosMonkey running around in my head.
All I’ve ever wanted for my kids was for them to be healthy, happy, and safe…