“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”
– Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities
It’s times like this last week for which expressions like “an emotional roller coaster” were invented.
Sunday morning, after two weeks of wonder what was going on with her physically, I found out that The Auteur is pregnant.
I am going to be a father again!
She took a home pregnancy test last Sunday morning. The results came up quickly, so much so in fact that when I heard her say “wow, that was quick!” I immediately knew the results. It was two more days before we got her in to a doctor to get some blood work done. The day after that (Wednesday) she had her first ultra-sound. As of this writing, our baby is about the size of a grain of rice.
Initially, The Auteur was convinced it was a boy, now she doesn’t seem so sure. We’ve both said that we would like to have one of each together – so that we as a couple can have the whole parenting experience together. sure we The Kid and 1B, but we want to have our own children as a couple as well.
When she took the test last Sunday, we were both elated. the next 48 hours or so that followed, there were some questions and concerns for both of us. I know I personally felt a sense of relief when the Auteur went to have some blood work done; and even more so after her ultrasound. We’ve had some questions as to whether or not we would even be able to have children – which of course have now been answered in the best way possible. It’s relief. It’s excitement. it’s vindication. It’s the future. It’s all of these things…and so much more.
We’ve been talking a lot about the future lately: getting married, having kids, possibly moving out of state a little further down the road. We’ve had some questions as to when we should do what: get married first? try to start a family first? We’re not getting any younger and we both want both our blended family and a family of our own. I remember saying once to her that we almost need something to happen in order to tell us what order to proceed in. Whatever way one slices it, this is tremendous news. At this moment in my life, i can imagine no greater honors than having a child with The Auteur and being marrying her. We’ve obviously been working on one. Now it’s time to get serious about the other.
And on the flip side…
Tuesday morning, my father The Old Man – went to the hospital. He’s had a bad back for years and has been laid up in bed quite a bit over the last several weeks. He goes in Tuesday and we were told that he had 3 cracked vertebrae and a spot on one of his lungs. As of this writing, they still don’t know if it’s cancer despite several tests. we’re hoping to know more later in the week.
Right now, I just hope he’s home for Thanksgiving.
The thing is, his mother (my grandmother) went through something almost identical when she died. The doctors found that she had lung cancer and it had spread to her bones. Keep in mind, The Old Man has smoked since before I was born and he’s never been able to quit. Frankly, I’ve been waiting for news like this since I was old enough to establish a connection between smoking, lung cancer and my dad. Still, you’re never ready for a bombshell like this.
I haven’t told him about the baby yet. I wanted to wait until he was out of the hospital. Now I may tell him on Thanksgiving, regardless. The Auteur and I have talked a little bit about what we should do if he does have “The big C”. Should we get married sooner than planned? These are the kinds of things this type of news gets you thinking about.
I keep going back the early conversations we had when I first moved back to Michigan; about him wanting to see me have a plan to put my life back together; about him wanting to know that I at least had a plan. Right now, I just want him to see me happy. I want him to see that not only am I going to be okay, but that I’m going to succeed and prosper.
Once again, I have so much to be thankful for this year.
Two things prompted me to create this post tonight: a post on a blog that i follow HERE and a phone call I had with the Kid a short time ago. He and I spoke briefly tonight – he had a friend staying the night at his house. He informed me about a fishing trip Jabba is taking him on later this week. He told me “I wish you could go” which really struck me, I think because he is still only 6 years old but he is maturing and I see him developing a sense of empathy. This conversation, the aforementioned link and the fact that I’ve never written about this topic – to the best of my knowledge – are the brainchildren of tonight’s post.
Forgive me if I’ve posted about this before. I haven’t gone back yet to review my earlier posts.
Far and away, the absolute hardest part of my divorce was saying goodbye to my son; more specifically, my decision to leave him and the home in which he lives under the care of Jabba. It was not an easy decision for me to make; and to be fair, it’s not an easy decision for any father worth his weight to make. I can’t speak for all fathers who have to – or chose to – move out of their homes, leaving their kids in the care of their moms. But in my situation, I had to make the decision to leave for the proverbial greater good.
Let’s face it: my marriage dynamic was a fucked up situation I simply wasn’t happy in it and I didn’t want my son to grow up thinking that the way that Jabba and I were living was normal. I wanted – and want – The Kid to see me as a proud, happy, hard-working, productive human being. Ideally, I would have like to have done all of these things while living under the same roof as him, but that was simply no longer realistic. Unless they are psychologically unfit or abusing the kids,the moms generally get custody of the kids, period.
The worst part of this whole mess is missing out on the everyday – day-to-day stuff. The Kid is really interested in fishing; a passion I was and am not around to see develop in him. We speak on the phone an average of 6 times per week, but it simply isn’t the same as having a daily presence in each other’s lives. I don’t get to see him come in from school and tell me about his day. I don’t see his school friends. I absolutely despise the fact that I miss out in him reading books, discovering new foods, and seeing him accomplish something that he wasn’t able to do the day or even the hour before. When I get to see him, it seems like he’s growing by leaps and bounds. There are times when I hardly recognize him from one photograph to the next. I hear stories about countless dads who simply don’t want to be involved in their kid’s lives and it makes me sick. I would give anything to have The Kid living here with me full-time. I know that it’s all relative though. There are some dads who live within earshot of their kids and never get to see them. There are other like me who live 5 states away and get along with their kid fabulously but still can’t have the relationship they want.
IN OTHER NEWS: I tried to add a couple classes to my school schedule tonight. I have to talk to my academic adviser tomorrow to get that going.
UPDATE 1.2.14 1:13 PM: I talked with my mom just a few hours ago, just to shore up plans for Phred’s upcoming birthday. I informed her how The Kid had told me when we talked just after midnight in New Year’s Eve/Day that he had tried to call my parents. Mom informed me that he made no such attempt to call; not on his phone and not on Jabba’s phone. I’m not mad at him. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jabba told him to tell me that, just to fuck with my head.
Also, I managed to get signed up for Winter classes finally. I continue to move forward.
THE NEW YEAR’S REVOLUTION CONTINUES
Last week, the Auteur’s daughter, whom I shall affectionately refer to as “1B” said to the Auteur that she was ready to meet me. The Auteur ran this past me. I didn’t really have a problem with it. I work with kids her age (or a little older) all day for a living. Granted they inherently hate me on some level since I am their teacher; but I really wasn’t concerned with the prospect of meeting her.
I’ve never met a date/girlfriend’s kid before. Hell, there was only one other girl I ever dated who even had a kid already. But as a 39 year-old divorcee with child, that’s par for the course in the New Normal. In fact, the closest thing I can compare to meeting a s/o’s kid would be meeting a significant other’s parents for the first time. But even meeting someone’s parents has never been an issue for me. Sure, I want them to like me; but I know that I’m a good guy. Typically I stay on my toes, watch my language and try to be engaging and I’m fine.
In my opinion, meeting a S/O’s kid is an even bigger step in a relationship than meeting her parents. It is my opinion that being a parent means that the person is unequivocally and adult just by virtue of the fact that thy are in charge of a member of the next generation. This is a view I have held since The Boy was born. To this day, i still don’t consider myself to be an adult, but I know that as a father, society see me as such; but I digress. The fact is, person’s child develops a far greater emotional attachment to the would-be boyfriend/girlfriend than said person’s parents ever do. When a kid’s parent enters a relationship with a new man/woman, that new person can be viewed as potential step-parent, a possible role model, or someone they hate for any number of personal reasons. `It is for these reasons that I say that meeting a significant other’s child(ren) is a HUGE step in any relationship; one upon which I hope most people do not tread lightly.
I met 1B this past Sunday morning when she, The Auteur and I all got breakfast. 1 B was pretty much exactly as she had been described to me by the Auteur. She’s a very polite kid; very good mannered; VERY mature for her age in many ways. As any kid should be, she is a living testament to her mother’s parenting ability. It pisses me off when I hear that 1B’s father has so little to do with her. I only met her once and I can tell that 1B is a great kid. Her father has truly lost out on the experience of raising her and being a part of her life.
It’s funny. When I talk to the Auteur about the STBX, and her attempts of screwing me out of time with The Boy, she gets really angry. She sees how much I want to be a part of The Boy’s life and is dumbfounded by the STBX’s attempts to keep me from him. Seeing The Auteur react as she does gives me a sense of vindication. There are thousands, if not millions, of single Moms who dream that their Exes or baby daddys would want to be as involved as I want to be with The Boy.
I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. If nothing else, my relationship with The Auteur has taught me not only about the relationship I want to have going have, but also just how screwed-up things with me and the STBX truly were.
- Responsible Parenting – Dealing With Teenage Step Daughters (akronscienceschool.com)
- Becoming a Step Parent: What’s Crucial to Making this Transition Smooth (palmbeachathleticwear.com)