|Josh and Lily (age 3)|
One - I haven't changed my header yet for August. I really need to.
Two - I am bugged at the Emma situation. I am a big liar. I tell people we have this great joint custody situation worked out. That is total crap. We let Jenni do what ever she wants no matter what the cost and we just take the VERY rare scraps she is willing to let us have. Emma spent the night at our house less than 5 times the entire summer. We had her for maybe 7 days the entire summer. We asked, but Emma and her mother always had an excuse as to why she just couldn't bring herself over here. The truth is that Emma does not want to come and Jenni thinks that is OK. She gets to be perfectly comfortable at her mothers. She would rather sit alone at her mothers all day then have to come over here. They have been basically just the two of them since Emma was born and they have a wonderful closeness. But at what cost?
But here is the biggest problem. Emma is 13. She is getting too old to be "forced" to do anything. And by not "forcing" her to come and spend time with us on a regular basis she had missed out on some very critical things. One of those is a real relationship with her siblings. Lily misses Emma almost every day, but there is no true connection there. Just a one sided love on Lily's part. Max loves Emma too, but as she gets older and leaves, a real connection will be almost impossible to build. BUT the biggest thing that Emma has been deprived of is having Josh as a father. Having him as a daily person to interact with.
Because he is amazing.
Truly the greatest man and the greatest father I have ever seen. He is the second half to my children that is essential to them. He will flat out refuse to go the father daughter girl scout dance, because that isn't the man he is. But he will teach you to fish and make you understand what a sense of calm can bring to the world. I can't really do justice to the amazing father that he is, but I see the results. And I wish Emma had gotten to have him for real, because she will never be able to reach her full potential with out his guidance. She is still a really cool kid, full of an empathy for others that most teens never have. But I just wish she had the balance of Josh to help her.
I have been fighting this uphill battle for 10 years. About two years ago I washed my hands of it. I woke up one morning and thought - if Emma/Jenni are happy, and Josh doesn't want to fight it, then why am I? It isn't my battle. Lily, Max, and Lucas/Gwen need me on my A game. Not focusing my energy on other things. And then I gave up. And I am much happier. But that is also called quitting. When I signed on to a man with a two year old I made a vow to do my very best by her, and now days I don't even try. What is the balance? What is the right amount of fight, but not obsession? I have tried so many things over the years, Jenni agrees and nods and smiles and waits for me to get distracted before going back to what she was doing before. She isn't trying to keep Josh actively away from Emma, she just thinks what she has to offer as a mother is more important that what Josh has to offer as a father. (Hell - they got divorced cause she couldn't appreciate what he was. And more, but that isn't the point.)
Thanks for the venting. It's nice to have that off my back. Now throw some advice at me.