The last couple days have brought about a lot of issues in lieu of Father’s Day that have sent my heart in roller coaster mode.
It started on Thursday on my way into work when the kids and I heard a commercial on the radio about Father’s Day. The kids started asking me when it was. Then out of nowhere Pickle says, “Mom, I want to get Jer something for Father’s Day for being such a good friend to us. I know he’s not my Dad, but he takes good care of us.” I told him that I thought that was a very nice thing to do. But I didn’t know how to handle it. On one hand, I like that he sees the good man that Jer is and appreciates it, but on another hand … it’s sad, that he was the first person he thought about on Father’s Day.
When I went to get my Dad’s card, Pickle picked out a card for Jer from the kids and I let Jedi pick one out for the El Chupa. This was a hard pill to swallow as well since he didn’t help the kids do anything for me for Mother’s Day. I regressed that notion since, I don’t want to sink to that level of animosity that won’t allow me to teach my children respect and appreciation of the other parent.
Last night, before I put the kids to bed, I got the cards out for the kids to sign. Pickle took a lot of pride in my Dad’s card and Jer’s, but then refused to sign his El Chuhpa’s When I told him not to be like that and reminded him of the things he HAS done for him, like camping and four-wheeling last weekend, he rolled his eyes, picked up the pen and wrote his name and then said, “He probably won’t even show up.” Ouch.
My parents came over so the kids could give their gifts to Papa since they weren’t going to be here today. When Pickle overheard my Mom talking about going to church and to lunch with my Dad tomorrow, he hugged my Mom in a sad, mopey way and told her he wanted to go with her and he didn’t want to go to El Chupa’s tomorrow. I told him again, that his Dad loved him and that it was Father’s Day and he needed to spend some time with him.
He was very mad at me this morning. Was in tears talking to me about not wanting to go today. I finally, just had to get stern with him and tell him, It’s Father’s Day, you’re going with your Dad, that’s it. He loosened up a little bit when I told him they would probably be going out to his Nana’s house to visit with El Chupa’s Dad. Then he wasn’t here at 9am. When I told him he was running late. he again said, he probably won’t come. Despite me reminding him that he needed to get his Dad’s Father’s Day cards before he left, he just looked at me and walked out the door. Jedi and Diva got the stuff and took it out to him and I sat here on the couch crying. All of this really sucked.
I was already upset that EX waited until 8:36 this morning to tell me he wouldn’t be here until 10:30. I had plans to go to church with my Dad today and church starts at 10:30 and is a half hour away. It’s hard to encourage your child to be positive about a situation you already have your own feelings about. Then, as I’m sitting here trying to rush and do schoolwork so I can go have lunch with my Dad AFTER church, I get a text message from him saying he’ll be bringing the kids home at 3pm. Wtf? He hasn’t seen his kids in a week, it’s Father’s Day, a day about a man who has children, and he doesn’t want his time? His scheduled visitation was from 9am- 7pm. This means that I will now have to rush along my plans, changing them once again, because he can’t do what he’s supposed to. I try telling him I have plans and he texts me and says, then I will have to pick them up. This would be an exception to the restraining order, so I won’t agree. then he sends me a text telling me can’t drop them off here at 7 because he has to pick up HER kids. Whoooooooaaaa. No. SHE needs to pick up HER kids. They don’t need to hold each others hands to be parents. And if she knew she had to pick up her kids at a time that would interfere with his visitation why would she come with him, knowing he’ll have to give up his time? He sees her kids more than he does his own! So, when I start explaining that I’ve now had to change my plans twice all because of HER schedule, he tells me it’s none of my business. When I point out that it’s like this for every visitation, there’s always some excuse, he starts telling me how I’M not working in the kids best interest. It’s all MY FAULT because I won’t drive them out there because I’m bitter and he gives me all this money in child support so I should do something with that money to help him., the economy’s fault because they can only afford to put gas in one car? (yet he has a company vehicle as well, and his company pays for all the gas he uses all week long) He tells me that I don’t understand because I don’t have to do the driving, I just have to wait for him. I’m sorry, but didn’t he know where his kids lived when he moved that far away? This would be like him moving to Illinois and expecting me to pay for plane tickets. And as far as child support goes, he gets 50% of his income for just himself, I get 50% of his income for 3 KIDS. And what about all the driving I do to doctor’s appointments, baseball practices and games, swimming lessons, school conferences? I’m always on time and him? He just never shows. But, you know, I know he has to work so I don’t make it this issue of him being a bad father, but yet everything I do, or don’t do is an issue of me being a bad mother.
It’s interesting because I remember in the past him being completely furious at his ex wife when she picked Pickle up late and dropped him off early. How irate he would be at her audacity for her to expect him to rearrange his life, or that her life didn’t revolve around her son, that spending time wasn’t the most important thing, complaining about how everything was always a bigger priority than him. The way his mother and his other family members would put her down and call her trash because of it. Ironic, isn’t it? That now he makes me out to be the bitch because I have those expectations of him for his children?
And the bullshit continued, after rushing through lunch with my Dad, he didn’t show up til after 3:30. The kids come running in telling me how Daddy got a dog and Pickle starts talking about how he’s crazy because he thought I would be mad that he got a dog for Father’s Day. Jedi telling me he wanted to bring it in for me to see it. I called him and ask why he would tell the kids that? He says because it was what he thought. When I try to tell him I don’t care, it’s cool, whatever, we’re getting ready to get a dog, I get it, but that it’s a little baffling that he would take on the cost of raising a dog when he says he can’t afford to buy gas to see his kids. Does that seem strange to anyone but me? He starts telling me his finances are none of my business. Yet I have to wonder when he’s telling my kids I have all of his money and they’re asking me questions like, why can Daddy buy Stankcy a ring but he can’t buy gas to come see us. These are THEIR questions. Then he accuses me of feeding this. Do you know how insulting that is when I’m CONSTANTLY trying to put my own feelings aside and trying to encourage the kids relationship with him? I don’t think anyone can appreciate the fresh hell that is.
(sigh) Really, I ‘m not sure what to do about any of this, that I’m not already doing.
What I do know, is that I will be forever grateful to my father for being a man who has shown up and been an awesome father figure not only to me, but to my children as well, and for a man, like Jer, who steps in and not only fills shoes that aren’t his to fill without excuses, but doesn’t bat an eye or expect any special recognition in return.
I’ll thank God for those men … everyday.