Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Growing pains.

My eldest son had a really difficult week this week, and I feel bad that we can't do more for him.

He will be nine in June, and goes back and forth between myself and my ex-wife. He's in that stage where adult concepts are just starting to make sense to him, even if he doesn't know what to do with them, and he's unfortunately learning how t deal with many of those things through my ex-wife.

I joke with some of my co-workers that I learned my negotiating techniques from her. She is, to be short and not bore the poor reader, inconsistent, and illogical. I believe she's messed in the head, but for the sake of objectivity I will keep my comments to myself.

Poor Cole was supposed to go with his mother and her boyfriend to Niagara last year, and Florida, and both trips were cancelled. The boyfriend's mother fell ill, and is right now fighting for her life. So they cancelled the trips. It was explained, and nothing came of it. However, three weeks ago, she up and changed the schedule with me, and gave me a couple of extra weeks with him, without much explanation, so she could go to Florida. I take whatever time I can get with him, and assume she explained it on her side.

It turns out Cole wasn't aware it had changed, and in his planner that he takes with him, none of the changes were made. So he believed that he was still going back to her house, and had a rough time with it, and when we talked about it, was furious, especially when he found out she and her boyfriend were in Florida.

She took off, and left us to sort out the mess. We hadn't known it was a problem until he began peeing himself, failing tests at school, and mouthing back. How else is an eight year old to deal with emotions he doesn't know, and can't express. He is just now starting to learn about consistency, and about responsibility, being a big brother, and being honest about things.

This is where I got angry about things. So I did what any shared custody parent would do. I dialled her number for him when he wanted to tell her how he felt.

I was so proud of him, not because he gave her shit, because he didn't. He was afraid. No, I was proud of him because he told her how angry he is, and how sad he is, and he didn't accept her excuses. I know it's not going to change anything, but I was very proud of him. He had a rotten week, and probably for the first time ever we're glad he went back to her house. He just took one painful step toward understanding what it is to be older, and handled it with glitches, tears, and frustration, but handled it nonetheless. Maybe I'm naive in thinking he could come back and everything would be better, but at least now he'll be able to get the excuse from her mouth directly.

Good luck Coley, as much as growing up is no fun, growing up unscarred with a borderline mother can be near impossible.

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