While on the back of my husband’s bike this weekend I thought about a lot of things, there’s nothing much else you can do on the back of a bike, besides taking pictures and listening to music……and listening to music wasn’t an option considering I don’t have an iPod…… although I’m kicking myself for giving my sister my IPHONE 4 because I could have used that as an IPod since I used it while I went to the gym or the track way back when.
As the beautiful country was flying past us I thought about a conversation I had earlier this week with Connie, who is a really dear friend of mine. She is sort of in the same predicament that I am in. She has two teenage sons who have just recently decided to go live with their father in Georgia, the home life was fine but they wanted to be with their dad and do “GUY” things. “Jolene, do you ever feel slighted that your son chose to stay with his dad rather than move with you; I know I shouldn’t be mad but I am.” I told her that I try not to think about it as choosing one parent over the other, knowing full well that my ex-husband thinks he “won” our son over. To him everything is about winning……he’s the Valleys own Charlie Sheen.
From conversations that I had with my son he wasn’t happy living in the desert and that he needed a change. I noticed that he was struggling with not only school but with trying to come into his own, I told Connie that before my husband and I reconnected things with Scott (my 17yr old son) started to become tense. Before it was all about mom ……and then. it. wasn’t. The weeks that he was suppose to come over he chose to stay at his dads or his dad would need him to stay a few days into my week because my son had to watch his siblings……….there was always something. On the days that I did see my son I was excited and couldn’t wait to be mom again only to be shut down quickly by his sharp tongue……no doubt a trait from his father. I had always made it a point when I would pick up my son from school to ask him about his day, yeah I knew I would get the same “it was boring” answer but now it was full of horrible words ….and “why do you ask me every F*&ken time how my day is it’s never going to change”, believe me when he said that to me the first time I was driving a curvy mountain road and I had to hold my tongue and keep both hands on the wheel. I noticed as the months went on his attitude towards me got worse and I didn’t know why considering he seldom lost his temper with me and always had my back. It wasn’t until one day when I dropped him off at his father’s that I saw a car in the drive way, when I asked about it he said that his dad bought him that car, but it needs some work. BINGO. I began to notice that my son would go and tell his father or Mr. Crazy things that were happening on the home front which wasn’t cool at all……..I decided that it was time for the “loyalty” talk. I informed Scott that I know that he may feel that he needs to choose one parent over the other but that’s not the case. He can show respect and loyalty towards both parents……and just because his father bought him a car and takes him to Magic Moutain all the time doesn’t mean he had to turn against me. Well, he didn’t see it this way. My ex has a good way of planting a seed of doubt in our children’s head until ……..he “wins” again. It’s sad on the most part. I told Connie that I saw my son slipping away and I couldn’t do much about it, even when I tried my ex would try even harder to manipulate him and cause chaos. ……it’s kind of sad really, knowing this man claims to be a devote Christian yet manipulates the heck out of people he is such a good storyteller that by his last breath you are thinking he’s the best thing next to Our Lord……. just because he played Jesus in a play a long time ago it doesn’t mean he IS!
Anywhooo………I told Connie that although things were rough with my son, I knew I was still doing everything possible on the back end to try and hold onto what I still had with him. As time went on he would only come over maybe for a day or two but on those days he would always need something……money, school supplies,shoes,socks……stuff he refused to ask his father for…..then I wouldn’t hear from him or see him….. UNTIL, the next time he needed something…..In all honesty, I felt kind of stupid after awhile. It came a time when I was just done with sitting at home, stewing in my own resentment of the past, I needed to live again ………my two girls were out on their own and my son pretty much had decided that life with dad was a bite more fun.
When my husband and I decided that it was time to “seal the deal” and get married, life for me meant that I would be moving to Arkansas. My husband and I sat down with Scott and gave him a few options; he could move with us and try it out for the remainder of the school year or come at summer time and start his junior year up at one of the high schools near our home…..if he didn’t like it he could always go back to California. We told my son that we would not pressure him to make a decision and he should not feel as though he is choosing one parent over the other. That night while I was taking Scott back to his dads he told me that he would like to come live with me and try it out, that he needed a change of pace but he was afraid of what his dad was going to do and say. Considering we all saw what went down when my daughter Ann and my ex went to blows because she didn’t live her life according to his royal highness. The wrath that she had to pay was just incredibly stupid, so no wonder my son was conflicted……he didn’t want to be shunned.
Well, unfortunately my son decided to just stay with his father. Connie told me that she remembers how I struggled at work knowing I wouldn’t get to see my son from time to time “Remember what I said back then?”……. “No remind me” I said. “Jolene, I said that you can’t beat yourself up over your decision to live your life, your kids are pretty much grown up….two of them in college and one would rather be with his dad and uncles. What are you suppose to do? sit at home and twiddle your thumbs until your kids think it’s ok for you to move on and LIVE. You started talking about how his family will start saying that you abandoned your son, Jolene your son pretty much gave you the middle finger and has shut you out no help from his father”. …….. “Yeah I remember that, you were never one to beat around the bush”. She was right though.
“To answer your question Connie, there are those moments that I know without a doubt that if Scott were living with us he would have a really good life out here in the country. He would absolutely love it! Then I think that he’s a teenage boy that wants a relationship with his father and now his father has the time to fit him into his life, so I hope. He has a great relationship with his uncles and just loves being around my ex’s huge family……so those memories that he is creating with them will last a lifetime. Connie, we just have to let them be boys……….we will always be MOM to them and when all the fun is over at “Club Dad” they will come back. So try and live your life………you did a great job raising your boys so don’t worry too much, although that’s a hard thing to do”