Monday: 18.December.2006

Mom wants to take son far away from dad

Been a while. Like you, I've also been busy. Got a call Friday night from the bug's mom, saying she had the flu, and asking if I could come by and pick him up.

"Sure," I said, trying to conceal my excitement (and noting nothing like this has ever happened before). "I'm at the gym," I told her. "I need to shower and grab a bite. I'll call when I'm on my way."

...which made *two* weekends in a row I had him (see entry dated 11.december.2006). "So this must be what it feels like to win the lottery," I thought, shoving the steak taco into my face while waiting at the traffic light near her house.

today's entry continued here

Yesterday was the first time I took him to church. Mariner's church (which I describe in the entry dated October 1st) has a great playground for kids. So I figured if he wasn't digging the service, we could always walk over to the playground.

But he *did* dig the service. We stayed for the singing part only, tho. Was cool to sing Christmas carols with him. They started with my favorite: In Excelsis Deo (Angels we have heard on high) and Hark the Herald Angels Sing.

Like a theater, Mariners church is also dark inside, with all lighting focused on stage, which (along with the music, and the 50-person choir) makes for a rather dramatic display. The bug's attention was riveted on stage (elaborately decorated). Must've seemed enchanting to a two-year-old.

On our way to church, I received a call from his mom (a week before Christmas, mind you), saying her family was preparing to pool their money, hire a lawyer, to try to take him back to Michigan (where she grew up). Boy, they must really be feeling the Christmas spirit this year, huh?

The funny thing is that, after years of similar threats, criticisms and complaints, I've become immune to such ploys. I no longer respond, as the co-parenting classes I attended earlier this year warns parents not to argue in front of their children. (Besides, it does no good. Only makes matters worse.)

"Anything else?" I asked, pulling into the parking lot, where I was greeted by a series of smiling faces directing traffic.

If you think about it, the threat made is quite telling. I mean, I could never take him away from his mom, no matter how angry or frustrated I was with her .. (cuz it's not about her). What type of person could separate a two-year-old boy from his loving father?

And I have been very generous, letting her take him back to Michigan whenever she wants .. for weeks at a time.

The recent transition to overnights and weekends (refer to previous entries) has been hard on her. I can certainly sympathize, knowing (better than most) what it's like to see your child on a limited basis.

And since he's still being nursed, I'm forced to do the weaning. In other words, she's not trying to make it easy for me. Nevertheless, I can be resourceful when faced with a challenge.

After hanging up, I looked over at the bug and said, "That was your mother. She said she loves you."

"Momma sick," he responded. "I think she's feeling better," I said. "Momma feel better," he said, nodding enthusiastically. "Seems that way." =)

In other news, we also saw the Christmas Boat Parade (in Newport harbor) Saturday night. What a visual extravaganza that was! More visual enchantment for the little guy .. lights, music, gobs of people, all feeling festive. We came across on the Balboa Island Ferry, so it seemed like we were actually part of the boat parade for a while.

I was surprised to see so many kids there, the youngest being two months old. George accompanied us. He's Mr. Popular at Newport high school (and knows most of the girls there.)

Several more dramatic events transpired this past week - too many to recount here, but equally hair-curling.

The holiday season is tough for many to negotiate. Sometimes I find myself longing for the simplicity of a more normal life .. something which has remained illusive these past few years (with high highs and low lows).

Just when I feel like life is beginning to normalize .. it seems like another crisis arrives. Perhaps normalcy is just an illusion. It makes me feel like going to a movie (escapism).

Maybe I'll go see Pursuit of Happyness .. about a single dad strugging to survive with his five-year-old son. Uh, then again, maybe not. In the end, we all do what we have to (to survive).

Posted by Rad at Monday: 18December2006