Thursday, January 22, 2009

If only I could give up...

I'm stressed. I'm worried. I'm exhausted from being both.

I'm offended that people who don't know me, have never even seen my children, and won't ever spend the time reviewing the details of our history that I've been so careful to document get to decide any part of our future.

Someone who left...nay, fled and didn't put forth a lick of effort towards ensuring their continued well-being does not deserve the same rights to parent as I. How does someone who lives several states away, was unseen for most of the kids' lives (so long he was forgotten), works nights and weekends and holidays, and complains half of his waking life about how little money he has and how it inhibits his ability to visit (even though there aren't even flight costs incurred), how does someone like that expect to be an equal parent, equivalent to me, who is and always has been the primary parent to those kids?

They ask why I feel like I should get to decide what is acceptable and what isn't. I say because I've always been the one to decide, had to make the decisions alone because he was too concerned with himself and his relationship with another woman to participate. Since nothing I've done has turned out poorly, I think I've proven my capabilities as a parent and deserve the respect as the primary parent, the one who has the final say when we don't agree.

At your insistence, we went to mediation and detailed a more specific agreement. I have honored this agreement. You haven't, and now that you don't like that agreement because it doesn't really suit your life, and apparently don't like the new plan I suggested for further transitioning the visits, now you ambush me with a court petition. One that was filed erroneously by your attorney in the first place, so this whole mess has been dragged out for three months and counting. You never came back to me with your suggestions for a new plan; you didn't bother to ask how much money I make, which means that your whole child support recalculation request is wrong because you made an ass of yourself by assuming a significantly higher figure than the accurate one. This is not fair. To continually have me shelling out fees for mediators and lawyers every time you change your mind about what you agreed to. I have much better ways to spend my money; my mother doesn't have an inheritance that she can "loan" me to lessen the financial impact of these things on my family. I put a great deal of thought and research into that new plan I sent you. You think I just pull shit out of my ass and make up rules to be a controlling bitch. In fact, I research child psychology, social studies, ask others who have been in similar situations, as the parent and/or as the child; I looked at age requirements for flying unaccompanied, checked the school calendar to find out when breaks are and when the year begins and ends, read the skills learned at what age to know when they can be expected to know their home phone number and be able to dial it if necessary. If I was really trying to have things "my way", you wouldn't be a part of their lives yet, not until they were old enough to have an understanding of divorce and the biology of how children are born. I put my feelings aside, though, because there was a chance that the boys might not have understood that decision and made me regret it. Every decision, every choice, I evaluate the impacts and try to figure out the way that is fair to us both, hopefully without causing the children any distress. When you suggest that their first visit overnight with you alone be 2,000 miles from their home, their still new home at that, I can't say that you give your requests the same considerations I do. For a child who had such separation anxiety a few months ago that he would have a meltdown if NS or I was out of sight for just a second, who just got a permanent home with his belongings back in his possession a couple months ago, a trip with you that far from "home" without me was not a reasonable request.

If you ever bother to see the reality of the situation, you'll understand that I'm not standing in your way of a relationship with them. You failed at maintaining a relationship when it needed to be maintained to continue to exist. That's not my fault; I didn't leave, and I didn't move, and I didn't get myself tangled in a situation that made it so I couldn't be fully involved in my children's upbringing. NS was there when you weren't, and he accepted the role the boys gave him; the key point there is that they gave him that role...we didn't tell them he was "daddy" or ask them to call him "daddy", but they did. He's changed diapers, cut up food to toddler size, built train tracks and trains, put them to bed and gotten them up in the morning when I couldn't, taught them to play video games, talked to their teachers; he will continue to be here to help with homework, to go to practices, to meet their friends. You can't make that different by sheer will or brute force. You and he are not the same person, and you have different roles in the boys' lives. Without a lot more change in your circumstances, it's impossible to be the same kind of dad to the boys as NS is. That may not be what you want, but it isn't bad for the boys, and that is the only thing that matters.

If only I didn't care about their feelings and their comfort and adjustment...then I could just comply with your every whim and could give up in this battle we're gearing up for to allow someone else to decide who's more right. You may not have gotten everything you want, but you have no clue how much I have given up what I want to accommodate you dropping back into our lives and to make the best of a tremendously difficult situation. If you think I'm unreasonable and uncooperative, I can only hope your daughter's mother can show you what a truly unreasonable and uncooperative mother is if she ever decides to cut her ties with you for a better life. That would be fair justice.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Show me what you workin' with, Santa...

Woo: Now I have a fairy. And a fairyland. With a garden!

NS: You need to stop looking at Facebook.

Woo (with a wee bit too much determined, important excitement in her voice): But I need to see Santa strip, and I need eight more cookies to feed him, and this will get me eight more cookies!!!

NS: Closes my laptop lid with my fingers still resting on the keyboard as I burst into "I know that is the most ludicrous series of statements ever uttered" chuckles.

So much for Facebook just being a virtual's officially another super ridiculous, albeit entertaining, timesuck of my internet usage.