And I mean no offense. Mother-effer* has become my bestest swear word, the one I drag out like most people pull out their favorite scarf or perfume. My trivia team took first place the other night, the night I of course had to skip (it's too hard to go regularly once school starts). My friend Danielle told me, the next day: "You were missed. We all predicted what you would have said, though...'Mother EFFER.'"
So to the point of this post: Yesterday I attended a session with Charlie and the counselor he's been seeing. I have to take a moment to crow about my boy. He is like the oldest, wisest old man in the universe trapped in a normal 17 year old boy's body. There are times I can almost see the conflict, the struggle, the angst riding through his mind and soul. And yes, I know that's true about almost every kid this age. But what I find to be so amazing about my boy is his drive to do something about it, the fact that he acknowledges what's not right in his world and his desire to change the things he can.
Take this counselor, for instance. One of the wonderful ladies at Charlie's school who are there to counsel and help kids suggested this guy last year. This particular psychologist is wildly popular and is almost impossible to get in to see as a new patient. But you know who made it happen?
Charlie. He called, he went to the office, he left notes and voicemails, asking this man to see him. What 17 year old does that? I think Charlie just felt it in his marrow, that this is the person who could help him sort things out, and do it in a way that would give him a nice new shiny set of tools for him to keep and use as life unrolled before him.
So yeah, I'm so proud of my boy.
Anyways. Charlie has been wanting me, and the other kids, to come with him. I won't go into too much detail here, out of respect for Charlie and his privacy. But he feels as though we could all benefit from this guy's help.
And he's right. I mean, even the most "normal" among us could use a little mental tweaking now and again, right? Take the past few years and dump that on top of all the other "normal" stuff and you have a little family who could really use a soft-spoken outsider to try and smooth things out. But getting the other kids to go isn't as easy as it sounds. They balk, they cringe, they conveniently find random places to be at the times Charlie goes to see The Counselor.
But after spending an hour in the mellow, glowing light of this man's office, I think I need to make it more of a priority. For them. For Charlie. And for me. Never mind the fact that The Counselor was wearing flip flops, and used words like "shit" and "fucking" once in a while...I get that his primary audience is teenagers and like Johnny Depp in 21 Jump Street, he's just trying to get them to accept him. He seems to have reached Charlie, and therefore I'd go see him if he was wearing nothing but nipple tassels and Saran Wrap.
One of the things that we discussed last night was how detrimental it is for the kids when Mom and Dad have an acrimonious relationship. The Counselor seemed genuinely shocked when he found out that Big Daddy and I do no communicating outside of texts and emails. Like, his jaw actually dropped a little. I honestly felt a little stupid, and a lot immature. "So, say you guys are at a school conference or a game...what goes on?". I explained to him that Big Daddy doesn't attend conferences, hasn't since Charlie was in 5th grade. So that's a non-issue.
The games? The concerts, the shows? I've discussed that here before. We simply don't speak. We don't sit anywhere near each other, so it's not like there are two people who are obviously avoiding contact. And sometimes, if my ex in-laws are with him, I'll talk to them.
But Big Daddy and I? Nope. I know some of you have talked to me about this, in particular a very wonderful friend who has every reason in the world to NOT speak to her ex. This friend, however, is not only amicable with her ex, they are....FRIENDLY. I admire this friend for about a million different reasons, but this may be the most impressive.
I can't do it, though. I just cannot fathom the idea of me and this man, sitting next to each other in some bleachers or in a wavy row of metal folding chairs or sitting at the same desk in a stuffy elementary school classroom. I just can't.
And I need to have that analyzed. Analyzed like a mother-effer.
Because it's hurting my kids.
And that just isn't mother-effing ok.
*in real life, I say the whole word out loud, like a truck driver or drunken sailor or 2nd grader who repeats what he hears at home. And I know some bloggy ladies like to really lay it all out there and throw down the F-bombs. But today I'm feeling genteel and ladylike. So I shall keep it semi clean.