I read the stories of other bloggers here at DivorcedMoms and hear the stories over and over of women who’s ex-husband’s meet another woman and race off to be near her, remarrying quickly, and pulling the rug out from under the kids. I worry about the kids who are having to adjust to the loss of the intact family at the same time as a new stepmom, step siblings or a parent that moves away.
God and everyone else knows I hate this stupid long distance relationship.
But when Al and I started this sucker he kept saying that we had to do it right, for the kids.
By right, he meant slowly. Where none of the 6 felt intruded upon or abandoned.
He pushes the boundaries of my patience sometimes.
But I know he is right. He keeps saying that we are building something and that the kids’s happiness about what we create depends on how we make them feel about it now. He is a deep thinker, that Al. He is also purposeful; he does things with a purpose and a goal in mind. He is also mindful of people’s feelings. He is also thoughtful; he puts thought in to what he says and does, as opposed to me who often has knee jerk reactions and call people things like beer monkey on the internet while throwing a whole lot of
and there is a place for that, too.
Which brings me to this past weekend…
As he himself has previously disclosed on my blog here, Al has vision issues. He is no longer driving. He has about a hundred girlfriends at work who give him rides here and there but he has lost some measure of his independence. He lives alone. Out of his 3 children, the 2 that are drivers are in college out of state. So, he is living alone and co-parenting without the benefit of driving. His child left at home is now 15 and will be driving soon. But he is there, alone, without wheels, managing his career, life and doing his parenting time. It is hard on him. I worry about him. He was sick a few weeks ago and I was so worried about #1. him getting to the dr and #2. getting his prescription filled. This past weekend, we discussed again, when he can move here. Possibly he could even do his current job from here. It would be so much easier.
I suck at a lot of things, but I am good at driving people around. I’m excellent at getting prescriptions filled, it should be listed on my CV.
I could help him and he could help me. Tit for Tat.. (haha, I said ‘tit’)
The conversation on Sunday was hard. I have been encouraging him to talk to his daughter and tell her that it is hard for him to be there, he is only still there because of her and that sometimes she is too busy for him anyway. She babysits on the weekends or goes out with friends. She’s almost 16. She has a life, this is normal behavior. I say to him that he could bring her down every month, for a large part of the summer, etc.. He actually got angry with me for a few minutes because he said he felt panic even thinking of trying to have that conversation. He said she would feel guilty about him and he can’t stand that. He said she might feel abandoned. Her mother isn’t the most mentally stable person in the world, after all. I get it. I assured him that I understood but that I worry about him.
He is very strong. And tall. With broad shoulders. (He works out, but I digress…)He is my very own life -sized, gray- headed Ken doll.
He is not weak. He does not like feeling dependent. He does not want to jeopardize his future relationship with his daughter just because he no longer drives.
Okay, okay, I feel like a shit heel for suggesting it...
BTW, after I got home from dropping him at the airport I saw that his daughter friended me on FB.
Which brings me to yesterday…
According to Al Roker, my Al was experiencing a blizzard because a part of the polar vortex broke off, who knew? His son was sitting at the airport heading back my way to go back to college. He sat there 8 hours waiting for his flight to leave, which finally it did. But it caused him to miss his ride back to school with a buddy who lives in town. Late afternoon I got a text from Al, that he needed me to help because the kid was getting into town, at night, with no ride back to school. I was on with my kids, so I got them as organized as possible, fed, homework done, and my mom came over and stayed while I picked up his boy and drove him back to college a few hours away.
I was nervous because he is almost 19 and I haven’t spent any time with him alone.
I knew he would be tired because he had been up since 5 a.m. waiting on that damn flight. I pulled through a drive thru and got him food and we were on our way. I thought he might sleep the whole way. Nope. He talked my ears off. He told me stuff Al didn’t know. He told me all about his anxiety (he said it comes from his mother’s side of the family, LMAO.) He told me about his girlfriend, the girls at school, drugs, politics, southern culture vs. northern culture, how everybody knew Jesus was a brown man, seriously there was no end to the conversation.
He’s a great kid.
He’s also completely accepting of me. It was clear he was comfortable and didn’t feel threatened at all. And I realized that it is because his dad didn’t move down here right away and leave his kids. It’s because we didn’t get married right away and I wasn’t thrust upon him.
I realized Al has been right all along, damnit.
After I dropped his boy at his dorm, Al and I talked on the phone for an hour of my drive. He thanked me about a million times and said he felt so happy that his son had been so comfortable and chatty with me.
He said he feels really good about the family we are building.