Saturday, February 16, 2013

Time to End the Reign of Resentment: Alex's Other Parents

This past year has brought a complete change in my relationship with Alex's other parents. This time last year I was hating them. which is an understatement. They called when they wanted, they came around when they wanted, they did what they wanted to do with no regard for anyone else and I was quick to condemn them.

I've talked about resentment before, more specifically, last year when Alex's Mommy needed help getting Alex's sister a diagnosis and getting her started in school. I was indignant, I had a half way bad attitude, but I did it. I resented the hell out of the fact that I couldn't get help with Alex but they needed help with the sister and I was the only one who knew how. I eventually got over it, by the time Sister's IEP meeting came around, I was ok with helping, ok with the routine we had fallen into. to an extent. I was still holding on to some resentment.

Sis's 4th birthday is coming up. That should be a happy, exciting day. It's been 4 years since she came into this world. 4 years since the magical day that Mommy gave birth to a slimy little ball of perfection. It's a day for celebration. To celebrate her. but I can't help but marking the time more as it's been 4 years since Alex's Daddy has taken him overnight. It's been 4 years since Alex stopped being his Daddy's world. It's been 4 years since Alex learned he couldn't count on his Daddy to pick him up on weekends and started clinging more tightly to only me and Walter.

Then something surprising happened. It started out I was going to take Sister for a few hours yesterday or today and somehow turned into overnight. I don't know what or how or up from down but it was planned before I even knew what hit me. and I was going to go with it. She's great, ya know? I love her. and the chance to do girly things... I'm all over it. So, she was coming to stay the night. and the only thing my husband had to say about it was he wasn't taking her home in the middle of the night, if she cried, they were coming to get her. so, cool! we have a plan. but still, I'm clinging to that little sliver of resentment. Until Mommy yanks it out of my hand.

When they got here, she wanted to talk with me in private. and repeated my resentment word for word. Alex's Daddy does not want Sis staying the night. It's not right. He doesn't take his own son because they can't handle the two of them together, how could they expect to leave her with me?

and my eyes are opened. It doesn't even matter.

Other than a couple of hours here and there, Alex has missed 4 years of his sister's life. Other than a couple of hours here and there, my boys' sister has been an only child. They are the ones missing out. These pictures? In 4 years, this is the first time they sat down together to watch a movie. Alex did try to sneak his foot in her direction one time, I don't understand the boy's obsession with kicking his sister since he doesn't even try it with anyone else, but he only tried it once last night. They bickered over a toy. We held Alex down and gave him tattoos. Goofy ignored her in favor of a video game until he was ready to play, Thing2 was in and out with his girlfriend, Walter didn't bother coming home. We did all of the things Alex does with his brothers and she enjoyed being a true part of a gang of siblings for one evening. Not just everyone fawning over her and doing everything she wanted to do but a real, honest part of the family.

and I feel the guilt that is the result of holding on to "it's not fair", clinging to "why do I have to?" because it doesn't even matter. At their house, it's not long before he's calling for his mom and his brother and begging to go "goodbye". He wants to come home. He wants his mom. His sister is a little more open to other places. She enjoys staying the night with family members. Here, she's another bean in the pot and the house is ok for her because it's set up for her brother.

I've been sufficiently put in my place by nothing more than the one person I resent resenting himself for the exact same thing and siblings doing what siblings do. I've come to the realization that it doesn't matter who does the work. It doesn't matter who has the heavier load. It doesn't matter who puts in what effort. What matters is the kids are paying for the adults' selfish crap. What matters is, above all else, I preach the importance of family to my boys then turn around and mock what I hold most dear by resenting the fact that I "have to" do it. You do with family because you want to, because you love them, not because of obligation or the off chance you will get something out of it.

"Have to" is done. It's time to have an open talk with Daddy about his perception of what's right and let Sister take her rightful place in this family.


  1. Wow, look at you. You are looking past your own emotions for the sake of a child you love. Talk about being the grown up...I think you are pretty awesome.

  2. So nice that you got some Girly time in! It must be nice for Alex's sister to get to spend time with her siblings!! Glad you had fun!!

  3. Well said! And so true! I love the pictures of Alex and his sister. They are so cute!!

  4. You are WONDERFUL!!!!! You are someone I truly admire! An inspiration!!!! <3

  5. Good for you momma! Alex and his sister will reap the rewards of your open heart... you rock!

  6. I haven't read the whole blog...but I LOVE how you talk about Alex's mommy and daddy. You don't snark. You talk about reasonable conversations with mommy. You speak of them both like they're good people. Even though there must be pain there. Every post you put up, I gain more and more admiration for you.

  7. Love this! The sibling relationship is a special one. It's going to mean a lot to Alex and Sis to be in each others lives more. Sounds like she loved being part of the gang!

  8. this is really beautiful mama! and, it's fun - it really is fun having a little girl in the house, isn't it? <3 you!

  9. This brought tears to my eyes.......resentment and I are old pals, inseperable at read your words, the raw honesty and willingness to truly look at those feelings is hard as hell but you find the strength and courage to do just that, lil sister is one of the luckiest girls ever to have you in her and her brother's lives :)