Thursday, November 24, 2011

Holidays are a Challenge

I have never been a big holiday guy, especially since they are a real pain with divorced parents, like I had. Still, they can be a time of seeing people and even spending some fun times together. At least that is the theory. We never did have wonderful holidays when we were raising our children. Sure, some things would go well, but someone would always stir the pot and bring up some commotion or another, ruining the time in many ways. I should have been more in control of myself at the time, as I am learning to be now, and not let them push my buttons. This year 2 of our children are completely alienated and we haven't spoken to them for some time, so we do not expect to hear from them over the holidays. Our youngest daughter finally contacted my wife for a few minutes (until her phone died) a few days ago, but we don't expect to here or see them for quite some time. My oldest son does live in town, largely because his wife has family here that keeps them here. They do not have the funds to go to their birth family, so they will be here. I suppose I should be excited, but I feel more like I am getting the consolation prize. We are the only ones here (other than his wife's family), so some of the involvement may be because nothing else is available. I suppose this is too cynical, but I read that they are all choosing the way (manners, behavior, etc.) of the birth family/clan, making any involvement with us that much rougher. We accept them exactly as they are, but push them to do better with themselves and their lives, rather than just encouraging them fritter their lives away. Only a month or so to go....

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Be Prepared to Move On

A tough thing in this journey of mine is that it currently looks like the only connection to my children I will have is to my oldest son who is "stuck" in town because his wife has a lot of family in the area. I believe that is the base reason behind his wanting a "relationship" with my wife and I. This seems to be mostly words with me, as he has not taken an effort to really reach out to me beyond phone calls and I am not willing to shove my way into his life after so much past direction. As the saying goes, the ball is in his court. The other 3 children are all actively ignoring us, with all 3 living in the area of their birth family. I can understand their desire to move there, but the lack of any phone calls demonstrates that their connection to us is quite weak, if any connection really exists at all. My youngest daughter did call me on my birthday early in the summer, but that is the last we have heard from her. She seemed to be fairly close to my wife in the past, so my wife is taking this much harder than I am. It is just a continuation of the same old thing for me. I will probably write more later, but the key thing I am realizing is that their personality and connections were laid before we came into the picture. Even though they came to us at ages almost 3 to 7, they had already developed a tight bond with their birth family and could therefore not really accept a bond with us as that seemed to violate the role of the birth parents. This is sad as my wife and I were the ones who raised them. Fortunately, no one can take the good parts of those years away. We have to move on with our lives. If they ever really desire to come back into our lives, they can reach out to us, but we are going to do our best to not allow their attitudes to limit our future.