Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin

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Monday, 13 October 2008

Lonely Conversation

I just returned from a run half an hour earlier than I had planned. Ostensibly this is not a big deal. But I can't remember the last time I ended a run early. I just didn't feel like running anymore.

Something weird has gotten into me.

Last night, it was getting dark early and I went with the Lorax (who I had, for some reason, dressed in his ugliest outfit) to pick up the step kids. I got to their mom's and it was obvious they didn't want to leave. And, what the heck, why was I taking them away? It was a weird moment. SR was going to be home in a few hours and it had been pre-arranged that I would pick them up. Step son got in the car and just cried silently. Step-daughter stood outside of the car and just stared at the sky. That lasted for about 10 minutes. I've never been one to force anyone to do anything. I finally yelled at her to get in the car. We drove off and I asked them a thousand questions. No answers, just silence. So then I started to pretend that they answered and I carried on a very animated conversation with myself. The Lorax also babbled loudly.

I drove them to a video store so they could pick out a movie. That hit their reset button and they were happy again.

Later that night, I watched The Lorax sitting with them. He smiled knowing he could lean back and his head would touch step-daughter's skirt. He loves being around them.

This post has no point in particular.

Running Songs of The Day: 1. Feeeling Yourself Disintegrate by The Flaming Lips
2. Mr. Rock & Roll by Amy MacDonald

7 comments:

Abbie said...

I think it has a point. It's really sweet how you are sharing your life with all of us "followers". We love hearing about the good and the bad. I'm sure I speak for everyone in saying that it's good to hear about both. We not only learn more about you but are also able to catch a glimpse of your life and hopefully share any wisdom we may have. Keep your chin up. Thanks for sharing your lonely conversation. You're doing such a good job and that's the best you can do.

Danni said...

It's good to be flexible with running -- that keeps it fun. If you can't allow yourself to back off sometimes, particularly in the "off season" -- you might burn out!!!

That's weird that the kids were being so strange. It happens.

olga said...

I hope you don't think you are the only one to cut your run short for no particular reason:) It happens, and sometimes we can find in our heads what's bugging us, and other times we can't. Accept, and go another time.
You handled the step-kids perfectly. I should learn, as I will have those times as well soon. Thanks again.

Lisa said...

Sealegs...You know I am a step mom and she's now 12 (I met her when she was 4). I had a rocky road, as well.

Step kids feel like they are "cheating on their mom" if they are obliging to you and even if they like you. They have mixed feelings. "Sealegs is fun and I can't help myself, I really like her! I'd better be uncooperative and this shows I love my mom."

They cannot separate that if they love you, doesn't mean they don't love their mom...they love both. I told my husband to explain that to SD and also let SD know that she was sullen and ignored me if she was in her mom and my presence, but as soon as her mom was gone, she was chipper as can be. He told her she doesn't have to do that, and even made his ex reiterate that.

Your presence in their life proves that mom and dad are never getting back together. Permanence is evident. My SD suggested a week before my wedding that she had a great idea! Dad can marry Mom *and* Lisa and we'll buy a big house together. We laughed and told her that is illegal. My DH had to gently tell her many times that he and mom were never getting back together.

The kids are truly torn. I also had problems with his ex because although she appreciated and was relieved that I treated her daughter well...she didn't want her daughter to like me. She had insecurities of her own as well.

SR has to let them know that this is unacceptable. It is not optional to disobey SLG, they are to do what you say because at that time you are the caregiver.

Good luck with this.

olga said...

Perfect points, Lisa, thanks!

runningdad said...

Are you sure there wasn't something going on with the kids that had nothing to do with you?

As unfair as it sounds, don't forget that just as you and SR have lives that exist without them, they, too, have lives that exist without you. Their emotions and reactions might have had something to do with the mysterious black hole that they live in when they're not with you and might not have had anything at all to do with you.

As difficult as it is, try not to take their issues personally all the time. Remember first of all that they are kids and will react to things as kids do, and, second, that they are people and will carry baggage and transfer that baggage just as other people do.

Jenee-O-Rama said...

Sometimes when my step-daughter comes back from an extended stay at her mother's house, her feelings towards me are... well, she seems odd. Don't let it get you down. You're doing a great job with them.