Yesterday was a fun day. I took my mother-in-law to get her lens replacement surgery. She isn't a candidate for lasik so instead she has to wait 3 weeks between surgeries so she can see without glasses. I was pretty excited for the anesthesia and a funny recovery. Unfortunately she was just tired. boo to no funny video to share. We spent the day driving to and from the doctor, eating and napping just a little. It was a good day. Filled with some pretty stylin' sunglasses.
Something hit me this morning though. My son left his favorite and only zip up jacket at his dad's this weekend. This morning he wanted me to call his dad and have him bring it home. I said no, that Thing 1 could call his dad and ask that question. Unfortunately for both Thing 1 and Disney Dad he got Disney's answering machine here was his message " Hey, Real Name which is not dad, can you please bring me my jacket? I am tired of wearing my coat and I left my jacket at your moms house."
For anonymity sake I don't use real names but this message hit me like a ton of bricks. For a few years now Thing 1 has been calling Lineman dad, not as a disrespectful act to his real father but as an accident at first and then it became easier to just call Lineman dad. He has now started calling his father by his real name. If that were me I would be crying my eyes out. I gave birth to and have nurtured my child and if he used my real name it would be on like Donkey Kong.
Disney knows that Thing 1 calls Lineman dad and when we met with Thing 1's counselor it was something that Disney brought up. He said it hurt to hear Thing 1 call another man dad but he also understood why it was happening. Lineman has been there and Disney has not. At this point I should probably explain how Thing 1, Disney, and I went from happy family to functional divorced family that is even happier.
Disney and I were married when he was in the service. When we were apart all the time our marriage worked. It was when he was discharged from the service that we discovered we didn't really like each other. He asked me for a divorce when I was on my first business trip ever and I was 1 part relieved and 1 part crushed. I had never wanted a divorce because I was taught that you get to choose your spouse and it's your job to make it work. I had failed and I didn't really like that feeling. I lashed out as did he but in the end we realized that we needed to worry about Thing 1 and function as his parents that at one time did love each other.
The status quo has worked well. I am in charge because I am the primary caretaker and Disney clears things through me if he wishes to keep his life. I am a mama bear and I am fiercely loyal to my children. Once Disney decided to tell me how to parent and I told him when he was a parent every day he could tell me what to do, but as long as he only saw Thing 1 on the weekends he didn't get a say. It was somewhat hurtful and mean but it was true and after that Disney and I have had no problems. I am a very fair judge and jury so things work well.
A few years ago after running through 2 different women who he immediately moved into houses where my son stayed Disney moved to another state in search of work and finishing his degree. He was gone for 2 years and when he came back I knew his relationship with Thing 1 would never be the same. Thing 1 liked seeing him but he didn't want to stay with him for very long. Disney is now a long haul truck driver who stays with his parents or brother when he is in town so Thing 1 likes spending even less time with him. Thing 1 likes his space and his routine. When Disney screws that up we all pay dearly for it. As a result he sees Disney about once a month and only stays for 2 days and 1 night. Any more than this and Thing 1 loses his cool. He loves his father but he needs the stability that Lineman and I provide.
So today, as my 9 year old continues to grow I think he is distancing himself from his biological father. They will always have a relationship and I hope he continues to try to build a bond there but ultimately when Thing 1 looks for stability and help I know he will turn to me or Lineman. We are his rocks and we are always there for him. He is my sweet young man and I am so happy he calls me Mom, a title I have darn well earned, and not by my given name that is only allowed to be uttered in large crowds where calling Mom would not pinpoint me.