Saturday, February 8, 2014

Daddy Blogging

My son turned 12 earlier this week and we're having a party for him today because he was with his mom last weekend. I don't talk much about him nor being a parent in general even though I would like to. I've read several blogs devoted to showcasing the dad's perspective and it's really one of the few child-raising genres that isn't completely overgrown and overused. The problem with writing about parenting and raising my son is his mom. We try to be in sync with raising him and punishments and generally everything else but we are completely different otherwise and that tends to get in the way of being in sync with raising him and punishments.

The major difference is our lives in general. It's been like that since we met back in high school. She tends to lean more on the...redneck side of the line while I am decidedly more upper lower middle class. We never really officially dated and any attempts at being friends and getting along seem to get squashed at some point and we go back to just tolerating each other. That's the main reason I don't write about raising my son because sooner or later it would just turn into a complaint forum where I can vent about his mom. It seems every year there's something that seems to take us back to square one in our, I guess you could call it, relationship. When he was born, she clearly didn't want me around and seemed to prefer that it be one of the other candidates for fatherhood. Shortly after, she moved to Missouri so the next four years was an endless cycle of me driving 90-125 miles every other weekend to pick up and take him back. And then there was something called the Unpleasantness. I'm not going to get into it but let's just say that you wouldn't do what she did to me on your own worst enemy.

I finally obtained custody of our son shortly after he started school mainly because I'm the more stable of the two of us and from there things seemed to get slightly better. But one thing I didn't mention is that she is bipolar. I'm pretty sure she's been diagnosed and that she's not just using "bipolar" to make an excuse for being a crazy person but I'm also not the best person to use labels like that on. I don't like these "umbrella terms" doctors, psychiatrists and people in general throw around these days but that's a whole other post. She also tends to make our son the sickest kid in the world. When we would go pick him up for our weekend or even if he was with her on an extended visit, some malady would come up like asthma or a "cold" which was really just a cough. For some reason, in the 12 years we've been doing this, I don't know why no one on my side of the family ever just said "It's because all nine people you live with smoke!" But without fail, with her he'd have to take a puff on an inhaler (god, I hate that phrase) but here, never. A couple years ago, she even complained to me that he was becoming out of breath in gym class and I said "Oh, you mean like you're supposed to in gym class?" I've had friends with asthma and it can be a heartless bitch that debilitates you for hours if you don't have your inhaler. Getting out of breath after running isn't asthma, it's being human.

Just this past summer, she wanted him to come back down and live with her (despite court papers saying otherwise) and we had to have a nice little discussion about which school setting would be better for him. She made the argument that she was more stable which was partly true but I opted for keeping him in a school with all of his friends and more/better options. Sadly, we're probably going to have to revisit this again the summer before he starts high school but I've resigned myself to having to deal with this crap every eight to twelve months.

But what about the good things? Thankfully, those have outweighed the above bad things. While I didn't have custody of him until he started school, I've got to help him with that stuff and see him grow and change into an actual person and he'll be a teenager next year which means I get to help him with that and hopefully keep him from making the same mistakes I did and maybe be a little less emo. God, I wish I less depressing and creepy back in high school.

Until next time, I remain...
~Brian

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