Saturday, October 8, 2011

Absence Does NOT Make The Heart Grow Fonder

Broken Ties,  riddled with weeds from unkempt behavior
I tried to be the bridge. Last year and the year before, I reached out and did the communicating. Gave the scores by text. Baseball, football, and basketball. Sent pictures. Tagged pictures. Posted and shared publications from your oldest son.

The products of divorce are not responsible for being the communicators in the aftermath. No matter where my children might be, I will not let the lines of communication close down. Even if am the only one calling, I will not let the lines of communication collapse. It's my job, as the parent, to make sure my CHILDREN know that I am paying attention. That I still care.

That I really do wish I hadn't missed your first prom and how handsome you were. Your biggest tackle and the after game re-plays at 2am. Your first break up and the heartache that shows all over your face and in every step you take for weeks. Your first publication and the joy and pride in your voice along with the next seven or eight publications that would follow.  The fear in your voice as a tornado rips through your town, ripping apart everything 7 lanes over. The everyday joys and heartaches of being a teenager and young men maneuvering their way through manhood.

How do parents think it's the child's responsibility to care? Two hours, six hours or twelve hours, you moved away from the child. You need to build that bridge. Maintain that bridge on a regular basis. Reinforce the nails and bindings to keep it strong. To ensure, that ANYTIME someone needs to cross over, there will be no mountains that have formed too high to block the other side.

The thing is, I am here. I am here for everything. I see it all. I absorb all the the good and all of the bad. I gave both of the sex talks to both of the boys. Both of them, more than once. And I mean, good, descriptive, and detailed talks.  And in case you're wondering, I, together with their Daddy, have raised two of the most wonderful and respectful gentlemen anyone would ever meet.

They both know how to fight for the underdog, help those who cannot help themselves, treat both men and women with respect, and work damned hard for what they want. I didn't raise lazy children. They have both had paying jobs since they were fifteen years old. And both learned early, money doesn't grow on trees, come from fairy money angels, but from hard, tough work. If they misbehave, they know there are consequences. If they treat people badly, there are consequences. If they are five minutes late with no phone call, there are consequences.

While I appreciate the monetary assistance you provide, which pays almost half of the youngest child's' tuition, they would both appreciate a real phone call. Or a real text. Or a real comment on their face book wall. I quit sending you pictures or tagging pictures and stories that got no comment. Comments that would have not been for me, but for them.

Every person directly involved in a divorce deserves a second chance. The children, the parents, everyone. Everyone who was part of an unhappy situation deserves to be happy. Children gain bonus parents and sisters and brothers. It should work that way. It doesn't always. Distance can make that hard. Hard, but not impossible. Sometimes, you have to work hard at it. Sometimes, you have to keep putting yourself in their faces, letting them know you care and you're not going away. Infuse yourself in their lives in such a way, there is no doubt, that you are expecting to be a part of it, no matter what. No matter how hard they make it for you.

I did.  I did that. It works. I have bonus children and grandchildren, and they are eight hours away from me.  I have no blood relation, but now I'm a MeMa and I couldn't be prouder. And quite honestly, I haven't even had the pleasure of meeting some of them personally yet.

It's not working out that way for you, because you're not invested. Your soul and your heart are not invested. You're not trying. At all. So, you get what you get. You get silly forward texts that are not addressed to anyone in particular that you send to your sons, that are not answered. You get cell phone messages that are not returned. I know it's like the oldest thing in the book, but we still have a house phone. Call it. You can better believe I can get someone to the phone for you.

Try. Before there is no turning back. It's very close. I hope you understand that. The death of your relationship with your children is so close, you should be able to smell it by now. It's so stagnant, rigor mortise is setting in. Save it. Save the relationships before all you have left are memories of what you left behind.

Quite frankly, if I were part of your new memories, it would scare the hell out of me how easy it is for you to walk away. From your own children, your parents, from everything you used to know. For there, by the grace of God, go they.

copyright © 2011 Michelle Mount Mims

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