Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

I have a deep sense of peace this Christmas. There are many reasons why, but I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that life is moving forward constructively. This year I told the kids we weren't buying presents, but would be going places instead. Still, I ended up buying Disney Infinity. I'm not at all sorry; it's much more creative and far less creepy and violent than Skylanders, which I loathe and can't wait to get rid of. I convinced them we should sell the Skylanders to buy more Infinity characters. High-five to myself lol.

It's the first Christmas without the kids seeing their dad. I was resigned to that because I know he's not in good shape to see them, but still feeling upset for the kids. Whiz Kid informed me yesterday that we should pick up gifts for him anyway to save until we see him. So I was pretty angry last night when my MIL called to tell me he had unexpectedly turned up at his dad's door the night before, 30 minutes after we left, freezing cold and skinny as a rail, claiming he walked and ran from the jail about 4 miles away after being released. We thought he was still several counties away; he says they transported him back here to clear up more minor charges. Who knows. His dad let him spend the night, fed him, and drove him back to the state capital where he's been living with some guy he left the psychiatric ward with in September.

I'm not sure if I'm more upset that he didn't try to see the kids while he was here, or glad that we missed him without the kids having to know it. Very mixed feelings but sadness is certainly the overwhelming one. I would have met him at a fast food place with his dad or something, just so they could see their father at Christmas. But maybe that would have been the wrong thing to do.

As it was, we blissfully went on with a wonderful day, going to the Children's Museum on the way to our church holiday feast. Then Whiz Kid served as an altar boy for the 3rd time this week, a responsibility he takes very seriously and appears to do quite well at. It's good to see him participating in the service instead of slouching and moaning in his chair, refusing to stand and whispering loudly, "How much loooongeeerrrrr?" He needs participation to be interested in things. Little Bear desperately wants to serve as well, but I'm concerned about his interactions with Whiz Kid and also with his best friend, who is the youngest altar boy. Both of them are very impulsive and inclined to forget their instructions as soon as any distraction presents itself. I know Whiz Kid will try to supervise them, and that won't be good. When Little Bear does begin to serve, we will have to coordinate it so that he is not with his brother or friend. And I will probably try to keep him at Vespers and let his brother take the longer Liturgy. He has stomach trouble, and is not inclined to stand still very long as it is.

Speaking of Little Bear, his academic scores are as high as Whiz Kid's except in reading, and his behavior in school is better. I'm very surprised and happy. He doesn't come across as the academic type but clearly he does fine. He has begun to develop self-esteem issues, though, and I'm not sure what to do about that or if it's a phase that will pass. Several times I've heard him complain how stupid he is, and he writes it sometimes when he's upset. I keep telling him that's not true, and trying to come down hard on Whiz Kid for mocking him, but so far it doesn't seem to help. I guess these things take time. He certainly is not stupid by any means, and I don't want him to create a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas to all! I'm delighted to face the year ahead.


Friday, December 13, 2013


I finally got my voice back. I think now I may have actually had whooping cough - at any rate I coughed violently for about 3 weeks and it still hasn't fully stopped. And today I actually had time to call the father of Whiz Kid's friend at a time when his son wasn't home. And told him of my decision. He was very upset, as I expected; his excuse was that he was on pain meds that night and had had a drink or two, which I did not expect and which certainly did not reassure me. It was very difficult to do. I absolutely loathe disappointing people and making them feel bad. But Whiz Kid is my responsibility and I have learned the hard way that there are some things you don't wait for proof of. Getting proof means it's already too late.

Still, I feel like bawling my eyes out over the loss of my son's friendship. They've been best friends for over two years, and in 3rd grade that feels like a lifetime. He's cried, of course. He wants to believe his friend will eventually come over here, but I tried to explain that although the invitation is still open, there's no reason to believe that will happen. And I feel tremendous anxiety over what will happen to his friend; whether his dad will punish him for allowing me to see the behavior, or try to blame him for my decision.

I asked Whiz Kid's counselor to mention this change to him at their last appointment, just in case he wanted to discuss it. He mostly wanted to explain that he is not in danger there because "when things start to get too out of control" (with horseplay, as he calls it) "A--- will give me the signal to go downstairs and I'll just go down and start the game and he comes down later." Yeah. No. This isn't getting any better. She gave me a look that said everything I was thinking, but neither of us voiced it out loud.

I did mention it to the assistant principal of the school as well, just because I felt someone should keep their eyes open and look out for the boy as much as is realistically possible. I still feel very nervous about having done that, but I felt worse about not doing it. However, it worries me to think that if anything happens in the future, the father will know I was the one who spoke up. Still, I feel that people do have a right to face their accusers, unless there's good reason to believe that presents safety risks.

On another note, my ex has apparently been in jail for the past month after stealing from a WalMart. And I received a stack of papers from Domestic Relations informing me that the county is suing the attorney who issued him a settlement on his accident because there was a court order in place to hold it for review because of child support arrears. Nice. The amount was far below what he kept telling us it was, and of course he did nothing to get any of it to the kids, not that I quite frankly care a whit at this point. It's just maddening all around: that he lied again, that he didn't hold out for a more realistic amount (no doubt because he wanted the fast cash), that he did nothing for the kids with it, and of course, the knowledge that if he did tell the truth and had gotten more, it would have been just as wasted anyway. Ugh.

Finals are nearly over. I think I will get A's again; I'm sure of two courses, one I'm concerned about but hopeful. And if I don't, it was still the one class I would not have traded taking for anything, simply because of how much I learned. I hope I never have to see those images again though. It's not a class for sensitive people, and I'm a sensitive person. Not to mention very visual. I'm glad it's over, and glad I stuck it out.