(Spoiler Alert – Angry Parent Rant accompanied by a sad Parent Moment ahead)…
It’s Tuesday and We are back to our normal routine. The morning drive to school, the balancing act between work and everything else, and of course daily contemplation about the universe and my purpose in it. My mind did not rest easy overnight and I gave up at 5AM and just stayed awake.
My worries cast a wide net across life. I’m thinking about everything from my son failing Spanish to the fire in Paris.
I was on vacation for a week and came home to find so many missing assignments which is disheartening because he was almost caught up. Then there was the email from the English teacher saying he was so tired last week he could not stay awake in class. She asked if something was going on that would cause that. I had spent most of the day catching up on chores and figuring out what I should be doing at work. I didn’t even see the email until I was picking my son up from school. Instead of driving off I parked the car and went in to speak to the teacher.
I’m typically passive and always try to give people the benefit of doubt. I’ve also tried very hard to keep my cool with regard to my ex. and his delinquent behavior as a parent. He rarely participates and when he does, he’s the charming one that tries hard to make it look like he’s a great parent. Frankly it disgusts me and I’m so over helping him keep that facade. I always thought things would be better for the kids if we were amiable and that meant smiling a lot and laughing at his jokes and not saying anything negative to the kids’ teachers and principals.
I let Cooper stay in the car while I went inside. The teacher was in her room and I told her I had just read her email. I then briefly and calmly and explained that my son was with his dad all week last week because I was on vacation. I went on to say that he doesn’t have “proper” supervision at his dads and probably doesn’t even have a bedtime. He has a ps4 in his room and also a cell phone.
My son has an addiction to video games. It’s all he wants to do. His dad knows that. I may not know the best way to handle that but I have learned that if you don’t remove that from the equation, he won’t make good choices. We have a normal routine at my house. Those electronics get taken away at 9:30 and I can’t make him go to sleep but without the games, he does get to bed at a descent time. I have no idea what happens at his dad’s. I have no control over that.
What I also wanted to know from her is why I get emails from teachers and he’s never copied on them. The school has all our info. We fill out forms every year with that and yet, he doesn’t get included. If this was the first time, I would shrug, but it’s like the 10th time. I asked the teacher if there was something about the system that makes it difficult to include him. She flat out told me no, that the button is there to email both parents, she just chose not to. She apologized and said she would send him the same email. Great. That doesn’t solve the problem of course.
Why, as the father, does he get a pass from responsibility? Why do people assume I’m the primary care giver? Why is it that things can go to shit if I decide to take a vacation and then I get the “blame”. It’s not blame. That’s not fair, but that sure as hell is how it feels. It is 2019 and we have had joint custody (50 /50) for 9 years yet I’m the one at conferences and talking with teachers and Brian mostly only shows up for the IEP meeting at the end of each year.
He had the nerve to respond to the email from this years IEP rep asking if they could text him directly instead because he doesn’t check email. Whatever.
Like i said the English teacher was understanding and apologetic. My voice cracked a bit because I was just so angry and unsure what might happen if started down the path of throwing my ex under a bus. I guess I just decided that I’ve tried it this way (the staying quiet) for too long and it’s not working. C has 3 years of high-school left and it’s my responsibility he gets on a better track. I want him to be successful, and if that means I have to stand up for myself and start calling out all the BS, then so be it.
The conversation only lasted 5 or 10 minutes. It ended with “I’ll see you on Wednesday” and “have a good evening”. Wednesday is C’s IEP meeting. This is our first one at the high school and I’m not sure what to expect. The way I feel right now, I’m going to be ready to lay out the facts. I’m not going to stay quiet. I’m not. (That’s my personal pep-talk by the way). We’ll see.
I’m just so emotional right now. I’m just so angry and want to release this negative energy inside of me. I just hate my ex husband so much. I absolutely hate him and I don’t hate anyone or anything. I want to love and be kind and be at peace with the universe and it’s just stomach turning that he makes me feel this way. I need to figure out how to feel better. I need to meditate and do some yoga in the sunshine or something. I want to find my way back to calm.
Then there’s Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris that was damaged in a fire yesterday. I visited in 2010 just after my divorce was final. I may have been trying to prove to the world that I was independent and could go and do whatever I wanted. I went to Europe alone. The Cathedral was impressive, but my memory of it is poor. I can’t tell you what it looked like inside. Now that’s destroyed. Last week I was in Spain and saw several grand Cathedrals. I took a few pictures.
They will rebuild, but it’s a reminder that nothing lasts forever. I’m sure they will try to restore every detail, but it does not change history. The audio tour for future generations will now and forever include details about the fire on April 15, 2019 that destroyed the inside of the church. It will also most certainly include details about what items were saved, and of the miracle that some stained glass windows survived. Miracle indeed.
It bothers me that I don’t have good memories. I asked my daughter this morning on the way to school if she remembers our trip to Portland in 2017. She said “Yes”. I asked what her favorite part was. She said “I don’t know, why are we talking about this now?”
I told her about the Cathedral and how I don’t remember it and how memory fades and I’m sad about it. I said that if we talk about it, then we will remember better. If you have someone to share an experience with, then you can remember it together and that is good. I asked if she remembered walking that mile of switchbacks to get to the top of the waterfall and she said “yes”. Then she said “can you skip this song, your music sucks.” Teenagers.
How do you say “mommy is having a moment and it’s rude to insult her music right now”. I’ll be the first to admit it was a crappy song and so I skipped it, and the next 3 until I got to one I knew she would not reject. Then we went the rest of the way to school without talking. Perhaps I can get her to talk about Portland later (a girl can dream right?!).
Now it’s past 10AM and I need to shower and get to work. I haven’t showered since waking up in Spain on Sunday. I’m not ashamed to admit that.. it has been a long couple of days trying to get back to Central time zone and all the other things that come with everyday life. I’m hoping I can make the most of the rest of this day and not dwell too much on my sour mood. I think seeing Jim at lunch will help. Maybe we can talk about our memories from Spain and that will make me feel better. Yeah, that’s a good plan.
Until Next Time My Friends,