It never fails. At some point each day I will have a conversation or thought and that’s followed by the lightbulb over my head lit up by the notion that it’s a topic I should blog about.
Two days ago I had a conversation with my daughter about her thoughts on her parents drinking. (Yeah, that includes both yours truly and her dad who she lives with about half the time).
It’s good she feels comfortable talking to me about these topics, especially when they go to uncomfortable places. She’s almost an adult and she’s also a really smart cookie. She talked about the both of us in very matter of fact and almost humorous term, though she did admit that her dad makes her incredibly angry.
She said she could always tell when we had had a drink. We were sitting on the stools at the kitchen drop down counter having dinner at the time. Frozen pizza and motz sticks and I just happened to be drinking a mikes hard lemonade at the time. I think that’s what started the conversation.
She said “I can handle you when you get tipsy”. She told me I get silly and cute, and really talkative. That’s alll true. I’m a lightweight. I get in that mode after a few and then if I tip over into having too much, I typically just don’t feel well and am inclined to go to bed.
Don’t get me wrong.. I’ve had more than my fair share of drinking too much and having things go sideways, but not when my kids are home. And I don’t do a lot of going out for drinks. I’ll have a Happy hour cocktail or two but that’s it.
But the conversation with her quickly flipped to talking about her father. And he has a history of drinking and drinking too much. And what happens then is one of the reasons I wanted a divorce 10+ years ago. It makes me sick that now my kids have to deal with that.
It’s not physical abuse because of it was, they wouldn’t be allowed to go. It’s more how his demeanor changes and he turns into a mean person who wants to pick fights. I can’t talk about how very many drinking nights that started out as a “good time” ended in yelling and crying. Or me just wanting to retreat to the bedroom alone. Too many.
She told me story about something that happened last week. All I could do was listen. That’s all I can do. I basically told her I remember that behavior and say that I’m sorry she had to deal with it. Like I said, it’s not terrible, just picking fights. In this case some stupid thing about her car in the driveway. She said he says things that are irrational and stupid and I’m all like “yup”.
Stupid like really stupid. Like the car being left on by accident (it’s a Prius and so very quiet, you wouldn’t know it’s on if it’s parked). And they got in a fight about who should go turn it off. She’s in pajamas in bed and would have to get up and get dressed. She told him to do it and he actually said “I don’t know how”.
Don’t know how to turn the car off? What?! You turn the key and pull it out of the ignition. Just like 90% of the cars in the world today. We never had a push button start when we were together and even if he does now, it ain’t rocket science either way. 🤦🏼♀️
She said he just makes her so mad. And all I could say then was “pretty soon now you’ll be able to choose where you want to be”. She’ll be leaving me in the fall for college and when she does come home, she gets to decide where that is.
I’ll be sad when that happens, but at the same time I’ll be happy for her and her freedom and having the authority to choose. It’s always bothered me that I was able to get away from him but that my kids were stuck. He’s not a bad dad, just irresponsible and doesn’t care about the same things or providing structure or being a good role model. And yeah, the drinking thing too.
I guess I always hoped that it was a phase he got over, but based on what she said, it’s still going on to some degree. Maybe not as bad as I had it. I hope it’s not as bad. No way to know for sure.
I’m really looking forward to the days when both my kids are grown and can have more choices on how they want to live their lives. I also hope I’ve done a good enough job showing them what “good choices” looks like. At the same time though, I don’t want to think about that too long, because it does also make me sad because they will be leaving and I will want to stay connected and see them often and I hope they will want to see me often too.
They could decide to move away, for a partner or a job or just to live somewhere else in the world. And that makes me really, really sad.
Anyway, that’s my light-bulb story for today. Yesterday I had a convo with my mom and that’s a whole different story and this morning I had another convo with my daughter and that’s a whole different story too. I just want to write and write right now— get it all down, but alas, duty calls.
Cheers to the Last Day of the Month,