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Jett Superior laid this on you on || January 14, 2006 || 9:13 am

Whoopsies, forgot to invert the can.

Last night, somewhere in the neighborhood of twelve-thirtyish timewise, rummaging in the fridge for various elements to a hot fudge sundae:

“Where is that fucking hot fudge? I swear, heads are gonna roll if there’s not any hot fudge left.”

“Why can’t I get any whipped cream out of this can?? THERE IS STUFF STILL SLOSHING AROUND IN THERE.”

*lightbulb*

“If I find out any of the kids have been doing whip-its, they eat the can.”

I go to the bedroom, hot fudge sundae with extra nuts sans whipped cream in hand, and wake Maxim from his half-sleep to report my findings. He immediately looks sheepish and raises his hand. Oh good, the children aren’t seeking out brain damage. My husband is.

Then, after a bit of discussion, I find that he sweetly and innocently defines a whip-it as surreptitiously throwing back his head and filling his gaping mouth with a frothy mound of dairy. In a way, this is very endearing, hearing my husband admit to acting like a guilty little boy. Marriage is made up of two things: endearing little displays of honesty, and viciously supporting your partner in sink-or-swim moments.

Which brings us to the reason that I was tossing the kitchen for a hot fudge sundae at an hour fully unacceptable for putting toxic things like dairy and refined sugars into your system: Sam approached me a couple days ago and asked if he could go and live with his father. At first, there was this clanging noise-thing in my head, along with a monotone mantra, “you knew this would come around one day. you knew this would come around one day. you knew this would come around one day.” I stretched my eyebrows way up, sort of shook my head to clear it, and listened to all the boy-man –MY boy-man– had to say.

He was respectful and calm and assured me that he was neither mad nor upset nor unhappy. He heaped this reassurance before I even thought to lob the questions at him.

“I just want to be with my dad.” he said, shrugging.

A wail rose up inside of me, and I carried it around for two days before I was able to sit down with him, straight-faced and reasonable, and give him my answer.

“I will let you go, Sam, against my better judgement. You will go under certain and specific conditions that your father will have to agree to, then put his notarized signature on.

“I am letting you go first and foremost because I love you enough to trust your judgement. I am letting you go secondly because I know what it is like to spend your whole life with an itch in your heart because you wonder what might have been. I know the feeling of being restless for the rest of your days because something important has not been attempted.

“In four years you will legally be considered a man, and I guess you moving from young adult to adult starts right here. I would be a terrible, selfish mother if I did not allow you to grow as a person. I would not be deserving of you if I didn’t encourage you in certain specific ways.

“Next Saturday is your fourteenth birthday. Instead of the sixty bucks I was going to give you toward a new amp, I am giving you this: I am giving you the freedom to either fly or to flop. You can pack this week; I’ll withdraw you from school and re-enroll you there on Friday. I’ll take you and your things to your father’s on Saturday afternoon.

“You will go with my absolute blessing and a love that you will never be able to fathom.”

In a painful ironic twist, Bob Dylan provided the soundtrack for my little monologue. What song, you ask? “Like A Rolling Stone”. For ham and hell.

This was yesterday evening. I had my game face on, but it was killing me. I’ve cried myself to sleep for three nights now, and slept fitfully at best. As good a father as Biff’s been in the past, things have changed drastically with him, his life, and his treatment of Sam and Scout in the last eight months. I’m bitterly worried about sending my boy into what could turn into a snakepit.

One of the things I’ve always praised my mother for was her willingness to let us try and her encouragement of me and my siblings to be bold in the attempt. I am trying to be worthy of that legacy. It’s shredding me, but I feel better today than I did yesterday. I’ve raised that boy up to be the best person he can be, and he evokes feelings of tenderness and ferocious pride every time I so much as hold a conversation with him. I have to trust in that; I have to believe that my past instincts were right and I’ve done a better than passable job as a parent.

He told me not even five days ago, “Unlike most of my friends, I actually have a bond with my mother.”

I replied to that with, “Well, son, I’m glad you feel that way. I’d like you to know that even if you weren’t my kid, I’d choose to hang out with you, because I really, really like you. You’re one cool person.”

I may yet fall apart. His father may do something to fuck it all up. I’ll keep you jokers posted.

::: :: ::: :: ::: :: :::

Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people / They’re drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made / Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things / But you’d better lift your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it babe / You used to be so amused / At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used / Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse / When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose / You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

// Bob Dylan, “Like A Rolling Stone”

5 worked it out »

  1. coelecanth 1.16.2006

    Yay! More when I actually read the post.

     
  2. Suzanne 1.16.2006

    Ugh – gutwrenching to say the least. You, Sam and his dad will ALL be in my prayers!

     
  3. coelecanth 1.16.2006

    Ok, yay as in: “Yay, you’ve posted!”, not yay as in: “Yay, your life diffculties are entertaining to me.”

    [Note to self: always read post before commenting, even when at work.]

    I can only imagine how hard that was and is. Fucked if I can think of anything useful to say other than I agree with your logic for letting him go.

     
  4. del 1.17.2006

    wow. just wow.

    You know, in all honesty it’s a credit to how you raised him that he waited till after the hollidays rather than drop it on you during Christmas.

    I know it’s cold comfort, but at least it’s another reason to be proud of him (and yourself).

     
  5. becky 1.30.2006

    damn. we went through the same thing just before the holidays. only it wasn’t well-thought-out. it was out of anger. and my hands were tied because i’m “just” the step-mom. i feel for you.

    hope you’re doing ok.

     

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