Today it has been 3 years since I met Boyfriend’s sons. For blogging purposes, I’ll call them “Drake” and “Josh” (they introduced me to that show). When I met them they were 6 and 4 years old. Josh and I have always gotten along pretty well- we both like Pizza Hut, slippers and chocolate milkshakes. My relationship with Drake has been quite different- even the beginning when he refused to look at me upon introduction 3 years ago.
At the time of his parents’ separation, Drake was old enough to be curious about their drama. He was also smart enough to figure out a couple games to fuel the fire between them and keep the heat off himself. A few times, he told his mother that I called her names while he was visiting us (of course I’ve called her names! but never when the boys were around. my father had a girlfriend who did that and it infuriated me) and she would call and scream about how she didn’t want her children to be exposed to someone like me (funny, i wouldn’t want my children to be exposed to her either. we actually have a lot in common!).
Drake and I never experienced any serious direct conflict in our relationship, but I sensed his emotional distance from me. He was accepting of my presence, yet always chose to sit in diner booths next to his father instead of me. Once he made me a birthday card and secretly placed it beside my bed. I was thrilled to find it and asked to give him a hug. He permitted the gesture, but it was awkward.
My relationship with Drake was a big factor in my looking for answers. I dove into all the resources I could find that even remotely related to my situation (divorce, depression, children, anxiety, controlling behavior, abusive relationships, children of divorce, PAS, parenting, step-parenting, blended families, anger management, meditation, personality disorders, etc). I frantically searched for my place in the pack as well as job description for whatever that position was. I found a lot of information, but no magic recipe for success. What I learned was that I needed to be patient (the hardest thing in the world!) and that I am responsible for my own actions/emotions.
Over the past few years, I’ve worked to be patient and stay calm. I involved the Drake and Josh in discussions about setting the rules for our “tribe” (I didn’t want to freak them out by including myself in their F-Word). I taught them new things and I asked them to teach me some things too. I expressed appreciation for each of them and congratulated them on their individual talents.
Last weekend, we took the boys out to eat and Drake sat next to me in the booth. He also offered his french fries for me to share. He’s been extremely polite and mature lately- and especially nice to me. I want to tell his mother what a great kid he is, but it’s simply not appropriate (BirthMom never did bother getting to know me. As far as I know, she still sees no value in my existence in her children’s lives).
Three years…three years….