Selective Memory

I am an auxiliary parent. It’s not a role that has produced recent joy. It is a responsibility.

My husband has two sons from a previous marriage. I was not part of the demise of that marriage so I am above reproach. I was also a child of divorce. I know what that’s all about. I was well informed in my choice to forego my biological destiny.

My husband’s kids are alternately demanding and demeaning. They forget that I am not their stepmother; my husband is their father, the distinction is clear.

Don’t be getting all up in arms about the second wife here. I have lived somewhere I have no interest in being for well over a decade and donated hours and hours of my time (the only truly priceless commodity) as well as pouring thousands of my own hard earned dollars into those kids, to give them a decent foundation for independence and  meaningful lives.

I have known those boys since they were little. I’ve loved them up and tucked them in. They have come to me for objective truth. I’ve heard them ask their father, “What does Elroy think?” When my husband bought a fishing boat all three of them  (2 small boys and one overgrown kid) lined up and begged, “Please, please can we get this? Please we’ll never ask for another thing, please?”

I am lucky in not having the inescapable pull of biology and DNA worrying me to death, taking the happiness right out of my life when those selfish, ungrateful young men say spiteful, mean, hurtful things. My husband isn’t as fortunate.

Those boys have been a misery for at least 10 years but I think they’re starting to come out of it. I’ve banished them from my life on several occasions only to allow the door to swing both ways so they can get back in and slam it in my face one more time. If I’ve been disappointed, you can only imagine what my husband has suffered.

As adults in the lives of children, it seems we all suffer in isolation believing erroneously that our young people are the only ones who behave irresponsibly and treat us with such disdain. We are not the only ones. Young people can be secretive, dismissive, and rude to their parents. They don’t have the life experience to behave better.

The majority of kids will grow to become decent human beings. They’ll return to our lives, once they’ve established their independence, and love us like nothing was ever amiss. We’ll forget that it was.

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About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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11 Responses to Selective Memory

  1. Love the last paragraph! So true! LOL

  2. Peggy says:

    I hope you’re right. It seems to take an awfully long time, doesn’t it?

  3. How true. I was talking to my parents about how, when I was younger (and not out) I used to blame and yell at them for certain things in the middle of arguments. I refused to see that certain problems were created by my being secretive and not trusting they actually had my best interest at heart. Between the ages of 19 and 21, I flew to Boston, Denver, Ann Arbor, Phoenix and Sonora, Mexico without their knowledge because I didn’t want them getting in the way of my future. Now that I’m honest with them (and wishing I had been FAR sooner), we can actually move forward together, rather than stay polarized. Life is strange, and we never appreciate fully what we should from the very beginning

  4. Such wisdom here. I’m glad those kids have you. During a break from college, my son told me about a conversation he had with a friend. She was about to make a bad choice and he was trying to talk her out of it. “Mom,” he said, “I started thinking to myself how much I was sounding like you.” I’ll never forget how he paused for a second and then said, “And I was glad.” I was crying and he was laughing. An unforgettable moment for me. You’re right about the return and the forgetting. Love this post.

  5. gkinnard says:

    Boy do I know this story! Well written—as always—and extremely well wrapped/summed up!

  6. elroyjones says:

    I suspect all people with kids in their lives are familiar with this story. I wish I could sum up the ongoing drama with the descendants as neatly.

  7. Misslisted says:

    I am familiar indeed…and I salute you!

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