(your oldest) is looking forward to spending time with you tomorrow.  How nice it must be to be able to have fun with the boys every time you see them and have no responsibility raising them daily.  Please, as you and (your oldest) have fun, help him to understand that, although he is getting older, he is still under 18 and therefore it is still my job to raise him to be a good man.  I am still his parent who deserves respect even when he doesn’t like what we are discussing.  Further, I will no longer accept his quick snips such as, “I’ll just go to dads” or “dad would let me”.

See, A (neighbor) and (middle son) got in a fist fight.  A is accusing (middle son)of having someone hold A down while (middle son) kicked him in the face numerous times.  W and J (also neighbors) told A’s parents that happened too although when I asked they said he didn’t.  (oldest) chooses to believe the three of them over his own brother and over five other witnesses even when A lied about things (oldest) did years ago when (oldest) couldn’t play with them.  It kills me that our family has struggles like this.  It also kills me that, although we are doing better than expected, you seem to think things are fine and the boys are doing so well.  You aren’t there Christmas morning when I had to hear one of the boys say how they miss you.  I’m just glad, now, that I had no clue of your plans and your actions because there is NO way I could live with myself knowing the pain that so many people are going through because of your decision to “be happy” with someone you “just clicked” with.  I still hate that I was clueless (till hindsight showed me otherwise) and trusted you more than I should have but I’m so thankful that I don’t have to live with being any part of the lies and deceit.

I have no respect for you at all.  I have no idea how you can look at yourself in the mirror and have no guilt.  You say you are happy but, honestly, no one cares.  All I know is you lost respect and trust that you had from so many of your family and friends.  Have fun with that.


What to say…

It’s so easy to talk when the boys and I are face to face.  But this is the first weekend when all three of them went to their dads apartment where he lives with his new family- the girl 6 years younger than us and her 16 year old boy.  When they called I didn’t know what to say.  I don’t want to ask if they’re having fun.  I didn’t want to ask what they were doing.  I just wanted to hear their voice and know that they were safe.  See, I don’t trust him to watch the boys.  He rarely did when we were together and was usually 5 steps ahead of my youngest when we went on hikes or did things together.  So, when the 3 boys go to his new place, in the middle of Pentagon City, where they walk around more than drive (something my oldest mentioned), I get concerned.  I asked E to watch out for G and I asked G to watch out for E.

I can’t wait till Monday gets here.  Then they’ll be safe and sound at their home!

I learn a lot from friends who grew up fatherless.  It’s sad I know so many.  I just heard one give their mom kudos for not ever asking what was said on the telephone calls they had with their father.  I have to say, I sometimes ask.  I don’t know why because I don’t care but I ask.  I’m curious sometimes to find out what makes what he has now makes him so much happier.  But, no matter the answer, it’s not going to change me or us so, thanks to my friend I will not ask anymore.
But, before I read his post, I confess that I did ask my oldest boy what his dad was doing for Thanksgiving.  One reason was I didn’t want to be surprised if he showed up at his parents house and the other was curiosity.  No longer will I be curious.  Thanks for the reminder of one more way I can make my boys lives easier through this.  I never thought a question like that would put them in the middle.  I love them too much for that.

There had been talk about what we were going to do for the holidays.  I didn’t think too much about it.  I figured, we’d do what we always did… the inlaws in the late morning and my family late afternoon.  But, because so many people kept asking, I thought I’d check with the boys.  They were with me.  Why break tradition?  Why have his parents hurt more than they already do?  They can’t help the decisions that were made.   It’s normal for me to be at the inlaws.  I never stopped visiting and never stopped talking to them.  Immediately after it happened, I talked to them and made sure they still wanted me to be in their life.  I made sure I could still call them my inlaws.  Made sure they wanted to be in our life.  I did not want to assume anything else!  There was never any question about it.  They told me, without hesitation, that I would always be welcome there.  In fact, my MIL told me anyone I dated would be welcome in their home as well.  She added that Jeff would always be welcome too but “she” would never be allowed in the house.
So that morning, we took Garrett’s friend home from the sleepover and made our way to nana and pawpaws.  I didn’t think about all the other relatives that may be uncomfortable with the whole situation.  I didn’t think about how they may still be in shock that their family member left his family for another.  I didn’t think about it, that is, till I walked in the door.  I was greeted warmly, as were the boys but I could see the looks on their faces.  I could see they were feeling sorry for me and they didn’t know what to say.  I got hugs (I hate hugs) and I returned hugs as best as I could.  We talked, we ate, we laughed and, once they saw that I was okay, things were normal.   That is, until I took the dishes in and started filling the dishwasher.  His mom came in to keep me company and she mentioned how his dad called him this morning to wish him a happy thanksgiving but Jeff didn’t answer.  How the dad left on the machine how Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without him.  It hurts to hear them tell me these things.  I feel terrible for them but there is not one thing I can do to help them.  I don’t hurt.  I told her, it’s easier for me not to miss him because I just think of what he has said to me.  I didn’t add the details but  I simply remember the words he said when we were sitting on the couch and then everything he said the days following.  I think of how he blamed his drinking on me by calling it “self medicating” like living with a family who showed him unconditional love and never asked anything in return was so terrible.  I remember how he says he’s on depression/anxiety pills since he left due to the fact that I cause him so much anxiety even though I don’t even talk to him; all communication is via texts or email.  I remember the lies he told after he left and wonder how long he lied to me.  And, mostly, I think of him out on dates with a woman when the boys and I were waiting at home for him.  Suddenly, I’m no longer missing him.  But, his parents don’t have that.  Sure, they have the night he told them he was leaving me and the boys for someone else and they have the experience of their oldest son not speaking to them or coming over to their house anymore.  But, he’s their son.  They miss him.  They’re waiting on him to make the first move and he’s not doing it.  Their hearts are broken as they wonder what they did wrong.  But they’re also ready to forgive… but they can’t till he’s ready to talk… so, Thanksgiving was tough on them.

Then we went to my mom and dads.  My family is used to it already.  They’ve been to a couple of birthdays of my boys without Jeff.  They know Jeff took a lateral move, by choice, to VA.  They know he calls, he goes to some of the boys games and that he sees them a few hours a month.  But my uncle doesn’t.  He worries about me.  Before he left he tried talking to me.  Connor was right by my side.  Connor heard Uncle Charles call me “poor Janet”  and more.  He heard that people were concerned with how we are doing.  But, he also heard me answer that despite what happened, we were fine.   I hope he believes it like I believe it.   And, I hope he knows I understand that he misses his dad.  Everyone should have a dad who spends time with him.  Luckily, my boys have some friends with some great dads.  I hate to put responsibility on them but good dads have it hard, they are the role models for all young boys out there.  And I’m so thankful for them!

Tomorrow is 30 weeks since the love of my life surprised me with the news he met someone and he was leaving our family for her.  30 weeks since my heart broke into a million pieces.   30 weeks since my life changed forever.  30 weeks since my babies let out their cries.  I will NEVER forget that day.  He went shopping that morning to get new clothes, we had a basketball game to go to that afternoon.  When he came back all was fine.  Our life wasn’t perfect.  Communication was off but that had happened before in our 17 years together and we always managed to get back on track.  So when he got home, I invited him back to bed with me.  He said he had to do something first.  I didn’t think anything of it, although I should have.  It’s funny how you let go of little things when you have total trust in a person.  When I went into the living room, he was sitting on the couch looking out the window.  I went over, sat with him and told him “I know something is wrong”.  I figured it was work.  He said, “what” like I’d know what it was.  I answered, “that’s what you have to tell me”.  Still, I thought it was work.  Boy was I wrong.  He looked at me, paused, and said, “I met someone” and went on…  They instantly clicked.  She’s divorcing for him.  She has 1 kid.  I didn’t say a word.  I could not speak.  My head was trying to comprehend, my heart was trying to hold on…  finally I said I wasn’t letting him leave without a fight.  That was the end of the conversation.  At 4 we all went to the basketball game.  You never know what pain someone is carrying as they try to lead a normal life.  The boys did not know.  At 530ish, we were home and I encouraged him to talk to his best friend, Patrick.  As he was calling Patrick to meet, I called Patricks wife, Michelle, begging her to please make Patrick available.  I knew he would talk some sense into Jeff.
But, I was wrong.  Jeff came home at 8:04 and said he didn’t want to prolong it.  He said he’s leaving.  He’s been wanting to for a while.   He confirmed the first conversation and said the met two months ago.  there was no sex and they’ve gone out a couple of times.  He repeated he’s been wanting out for a while.  When I said all he ever told me was that I was heavy he said nothing.  he gave no other reasons.  Even after I said, “you’ve already hurt me so you might as well hurt me more and tell me everything”.   His answer, “I don’t mean to hurt you.”  His plan is to have an apartment for a year, then move in with her and the 16 year old boy.   When I mentioned he didn’t want any more kids he said, “It will just be for a year”.  That’s when I started seeing who my husband really was.  What an awful statement!

He went to stay with his parents but his brother and wife were still staying there while their house gets ready.   His mom called.  Evan told her he was over there.  Evan hung up and said, “weird”.  I have no doubt Evan didn’t think too long about the call because, like me, he had total trust.    I, on the other hand knew, so I texted Jeff to come home.  I was thinking of the money.  He said he already checked into a hotel.   I texted and called my best pal, Lori, FB Michelle H from high school and texted Michele and Patrick.  I emailed my principal about my job and I stepped down from TMS PTA.  I cancelled my pedicure appt and my haircut.  I didn’t want to do anything.

Luckily, I think faster than I give myself credit for because the very next day I emailed Joanie, my lawyer.  I continued to ponder the best time to tell the boys and every now and again I slept.

I’m a lot further along since that day but today I cry yet again because two of my boys are going to have a sleep over at Jeff’s new apartment… with the people Jeff left us for.  So much for the plan of waiting a year.   My youngest doesn’t want to go.  He’s staying here.  He’s only 9.  I have to wonder if he will ever remember a time when our family lived together.  A time when his father was a part of his life.  Because, as I think about things, Jeff hasn’t been part of our family for awhile.  But that is a whole other story.

Am I allowed to hate him?

between two ages

my oldest is less worldly than the other two boys will be at his age.  It’s a wonderful thing being the oldest.  You get to stay young longer.  That is, until you become friends with someone your own age who has an older sister.  That’s what is happening with Connor.  This summer he has grown up a lot.  Today he informed me that he’s “no longer a momma’s boy” and he’s “older now”.  Furthermore, I was informed he “wants to be around his friends more and not around his family as much”.  But, unfortunately for him, a 10 1/2 year old does not get to be the decision maker of the house and, because he spent all afternoon with some friends shopping, he will spend the evening at home with us.  
But, we did compromise.  He played outside with some other friends in the neighborhood where I could watch him grow even more.
Son, I pray we have taught you what you need to know to make wise decisions no matter what everyone else decides.  I continue to pray that you will love yourself and your decisions more so you will be more of a leader than a follower. 
I love you and so does your dad!  Even when you get mad at us.


the pool has brought our boys a lot of courage.

boy #1 has started to do flips off the diving board.  I cringe each time thinking he’ll crack his head open but then remember he’s a boy, he’s jumping in far from the side and he’s proud of himself.  so, I cheer him on!  He also likes to dive and has been practicing different ways to dive in.  and, I can’t forget to mention he likes to pick things up off the bottom of the deep end. 

boy #2 saw the flips and tried it once or twice.  he’s not ready to be a regular at this event so he happily swims around the pool with a ball in hand.  He also likes floating on the big dinasour.  I’m not sure if water is his favorite but he’s also getting more bloody noses so that might have something to do with it.

boy #3 started jumping off the diving board IF he has on his goggles.  He goes under and sometimes even touches the bottom of the pool!  again, I am nervous but if he’s ready he doesn’t have to be my baby in the pool.  He loves the deep water and swims around most the day.


the other day he was at my mother in laws house and said, “it’s 82 degrees in here”  when she asked how he knew he said, “I know stuff”

He’s been getting birthday money lately and each time he adds up what he has in his head.  This kid is quick!  He just got done kindergarten and he’s better than some second graders I know.  I’m so glad school won’t be a problem for him!

keys sleepover

Garrett, Evan and I went to watch the Keys play baseball.  When you first walk in someone gave the boys a playbook.  Garrett noticed the back had a place for autographs.  We were a couple minutes late to the game so the players already went down to the field.  We watched the game for a bit then Garrett came up to get his playbook and a pen.  I watched him as he asked the boys around (we sit in the grassy part where boys are all at the fence waiting for a stray ball to come their way) , “Can I have your autograph”  It was so cute and some of the boys really did write their name in the book!
THen we stayed and camped out on the field.  fun but we’re all sleepy.  Bed at 12:30 and bugle call at 6:15

and Connor stayed with Jeff and they watched the dark night.

taking credit

a simple thank you is all I need for the things I do.  Sometimes, even a smile will suffice. 

I know people mean well but Idon’t want my name on things just to have it in print.  If you put it on, then I’ll feel I have to do something for it.  And, I really don’t want to do one more thing. 
Really!  But, because I love you and you don’t take no for an answer, what choice do I have?  So, that little sliver of space on my plate?  It is now full again.