My husband and I have a very unflattering way of referring to his ex. Instead of calling her by her name, we simply refer to her as "cow." This is for multiple reasons that I won't get into. Back on July 30, the children moved in with us. Their mother wasn't moving for a couple more days, but apparently she just couldn't wait to have them move. She was turning all custody over to us and moving half a continent away to be with the mother that abandoned her as a child. She has spoken on the phone with her children less than 10 times from July 30 until today. The arrangement is that she is with the children every other Christmas, starting this year, and every summer. Having just moved to her new location and starting a job at a large retail store that is known for being completely inflexible with their employees, we had a feeling today would come and tried to warn the children that things may not work out and she may not be able to come back. This warning did nothing to soften the blow of reality.
Today my step children were informed by their mother that she would not be seeing them over Christmas. She hopes maybe a month or so later, but not for Christmas. To a child, that is not only the loss of the best holiday in the world with their parent, but another month is a lifetime to wait.
I will be the first to admit that I have some things to work through when it comes to step-parenting and I have improvements to be made...but I love these kids. They irritate the crap out of, just like my own kids. They make me laugh, just like my own kids. I can't say I love them as much as I love my own children, but I do love them. Tonight, seeing my second set of kids have the rug swept out from under them yet again by their mother, I sat in complete heartbreak and loss with them. I looked at their little faces as the tears rolled down, watched their shoulders lurch, and their voices raise as they sobbed. My step-son who is so stoic had to work to fight back tears and came right to me for a hug. As their dad and I held them and watched them suffer, it felt like a little piece of me was tearing, too. It gets harder and harder to imagine a mother being able to do this and still claim she loves her children. To cry on the phone and say, "I know I did this but...." and then justify her actions and be so thoughtless as to the affect this has on her innocent children. She is damaging them, but at least she's off kissing butt to the person who dropped her on her head as a child and took off. Sometimes I wish she'd just fall off a cliff, at least then the kids wouldn't continue being hurt over and over. I know that's wrong, I just hate the position they're in.
I hate her for what she's doing to them. I hate that she is repeating the cycle of her mother and I hope to God these kids grow up to be better than her and their grandmother. These kids have so much potential. They have such bright futures. They're good kids, they really are. They may hate vegetables, we may have issues with schoolwork and character flaws....but who doesn't? They're kids. They're innocent, they're fun, they're intelligent, they're witty, they're interesting, they're gifts. I look at them and wonder how anyone could want to hurt them and, despite the adjustment and despite the fact that they aren't biologically mine, my heart breaks and I cry with them.
I don't know where this leaves us. We will have a great Christmas. They have other family members they'll get to see and Christmases to attend. We'll bake cookies and make Christmas cards and have a good time....but their mother won't be anywhere near to enjoy them. I will never be mom. Ever. I just hope I can be enough for them. I just hope that they're able to sort through the mess and come away with the good instead of the bad, a skill their mother never acquired.
There's so many raw emotions tonight. I know I've sucked at blogging, I just had to get this out. As always, I hope to be better in the future. However, the track record isn't encouraging. So ends blog #2. Hopefully blog #3 is much more fun.