Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Boys

My biggest concern right now is the boys. When this all "broke" in our family last weekend, there was an immediate sort of solidarity that formed between them; different from the one they've always had where no one ever tells how windows get broken, who took the DVD player upstairs, or why and how there's a little mess of burned matches and a wax mess on the table in the family room. This was different. This was a "we want to remain brothers" sort of solidarity. Fortunately, #1 has been home a lot lately and he was there to listen to their initial concerns and provide them with some hope and comfort concerning the future of the family. #1 called me shortly after #2 and #3 had been given the news by Tdub. The conversation I had with him went like this:

#1: Mom.
Me: Yeah?
#1: I just told #2 and #3 that we would always be brothers and that I knew you would always be their mom.
Me: So, they told you? What did they say?
#1: They were just worried that they wouldn't see us anymore, that you wouldn't be able to be their mom and we wouldn't all be together anymore.
Me: What did you say to them?
#1: I told them that I KNOW my mom, and that you will get them on weekends or any other time they want to come over and we could still be together.
Me: Thanks for saying that. You're right. I'll talk to them about it too.

#2 is 15. He's the one I'm most concerned about. It's such a volatile age anyway, and then, to have such a major life-change coupled with this revelation about his dad. We are getting counseling for both of them. And Tdub has verbally committed to continuing his own counseling as he navigates this new path.

The sweetest memory occurred last Friday afternoon. I stopped at the house to talk with #2 alone. Tdub had shared with me in a late night conversation on Thursday that it was, indeed, over. It was important for me to talk with the boys separately and make sure they heard from me that I was in NO way abandoning them or have any intention of leaving them. I had the talk with #2 and it went really well. We both teared up a bit, but it went well in that I felt certain he heard and understood how much I love and care for him/them.

I went to our bedroom to pick up a few more things (#4 and I are staying with friends.....the house is too painful for me....it screams "US") As I came back out and was passing through the family room #2 stood up. He looked me right in the eye, and, with a bit of a crack in his voice said, "Mom, if you ever need anything, you know you can just call me." I have never been more proud to be his mother than at that moment.


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Brett and Jenny Perkins said...

Thanks so much for the update on the boys. They have been so heavy on my heart. Continued prayers for you ALL!

I also can't help but think about how all this went down at the beginning of the school when you are starting at a new school. I hope you are hanging in there!

Much love,

Robert said...

Hey Grace,

Yeah, the boys are going to go through a lot. This will be hard for them. They will be angry, resentful, and sad at various times as, I am sure, you will too. Plus, they will be scared.

As you said before, you know that all of you will be okay no matter what ultimately happens. Although I know it will be frightening and painful.

I am sending more love and good thoughts your way!


kurt_t said...

I think you just never know how young people are going to react to a situation like this. Sometimes people will ask me was I traumatized by my parents' divorce, and it always seems like a silly question to me. Their marriage was what was scary to me. There was so much tension between them. They were fighting all the time. When they split up, I just felt relieved.

I think the guys are probably going to get a lot of support from their peers, too. Kids can be cruel about a lot of things, but they're usually pretty compassionate when it comes to parental separation.

Jay said...

Thanks for an update on the boys. I've been wondering how they were taking this. It's good to see solidarity between them at this time. Bad situations have the ability to bring out the best in us as well as the worst.

You're in my prayers,

Steve Boese said...

Grace, you remind me mightily of my mom. She was married in the early 90s, in a relationship that proved not to be viable over the long term, and my step-sibs were already 19 and 22 at the wedding. Well after the marriage had run its course, she continued to receive Mother's Day cards from them, because she remained present and available to those two in ways which were distinct from what they had from their other parents and distinctly characteristic of Mom's approach to being there for all people, but especially her family.

A couple weeks back, the former 19-y/o, now married and a brand-new doting dad, called to say that his wife had been laid up with a broken arm, and by any chance was Mom available to come help out for a couple of days? Being retired (yet amazingly busy), it was a no-brainer... of course she would be there the next day.

Break-ups are tough. They turn everything upside-down. It is tempting to make idealistic promises that are just not realistic.

But the bond between a person with your character, or my mom's, and the rest of the family is one that is certain to endure.

Take care, friend...

TCS said...

Angie sent me over here. I am glad she did. It gives me something to do right now. I will be praying for you all. As you know boys are all different and react differently, but I know that they are hurting. As much love as you can muster will go a long way.

greg622 said...

still crying with you...

grace said...

I appreciate all of you....I do. I'll write more soon.


Ed said...

We will all keep you in your prayers. And don't worry too much about the boys! I wish my mum would worry less about me...I'm 18 now for goodness sake...

But the boys will be fine. Don't be afraid to go to them for comfort or support either. Your sons want to protect you as much as you want to protect them.

Divorce isn't as big a deal on the kids as alot of people make it out to be. My parents are pretty much separated and me and my sis both turned out ok...(or at least my sister did. Some might argue that this is what caused my homosexuality *rolls eyes*).

Stay strong!

Christine said...

Grace don't feel like you have to blog here on our account. Only if it is helping you. You need to take care of yourself and your boys right now. Just know that you have a lot of people who love you and are praying for you. And you don't need to do anything for us.

Angie said...

I'll just echo what christine said in that we don't have expectations of you right now, to blog and keep us updated on things. We're just blessed by knowing you and want to show our support to you in any way we can.

Still praying...

CrackerLilo said...

I'm sorry for all the things that all of you are dealing with. *hug*