Monday, August 20, 2007

Ay yay, yay

So OK. I'm not perfect. Sometimes things happen in my kids' lives that I don't pick up on & I'm not the perfect, kind, supportive, always there for you mom.

But I get an A for effort, right?

Nathan is going through something. Not major. But enough. He's clingy, he's teary, he wants to know where I am all the time - But it took me his "I'm going to cry every day when Gwen leaves." comment for me to realize. It's.....

Transition Time.

Think about it. He's spent his summer not seeing most of his friends, the babysitter he has had for most of his life is leaving, he's going to a brand new school, none of his friends will be at that school - and oh yeah, I carelessly let drop that he has to go for a blood test the end of this month. Just to pile another worry onto him.

Let me explain.

I'm a single mom. A social worker. A social worker with lots of debt. A single mom with an X husband who though he supports us as he's supposed to - does not really like to part with money. An X husband who does not believe in summer camp. ("They can go to the park." "This is a time of cutting back, camp is a luxury item. I don't support luxury items.") And you know, the mediators support that. When we were doing the agreement, they said the same thing. I could have gone through lawyers, but to pay the legal fees for that -- just to get him to pay for summer camp.... well... doesn't make too much sense. (And I'm not sure why it's not covered - as I WORK during the day, and we're getting a PART TIME sitter since they're both in school full time - so WHERE DO THEY GO the first half of the day. Help me. I'm already stressing about next summer! Make me stop!!)

Enough. Back on track.

So. Since X left the kids have been going to summer camp at the Forest Hills Jewish Center. They went for school from the time they were 2 1/2 and then camp. When X left he would not pay for it. You know: Luxury Item. But I was determined to keep things the same as possible for them... so I spoke to the director. She helped me out, and let them go to summer camp for free. (By "camp" I use the term loosely. It's at the school. In classrooms. They play on the roof...)

Once most kids get older - say about 4-5 years old - they leave the Jewish Center camp and go to "regular" camps. On Long Island. That cost upwards of $3000 for a summer. I have two kids. Free camp? $6000 for camp? Plus babysitter. Right. You get it.

(Omigod, sorry this is so long!) This summer ALL of Nathans friends were at other camps. They would get home at about 4 pm when he was done at 1, and he never got to see them. Plus he was one of the oldest kids at the camp & had a difficult time connecting with the other kids. (Which is not usual for him. He's usually the most loved. For the first time he came home and said "Coby said he doesn't want to be my friend!" It was heartbreaking!)

So he's been off kilter all summer long.

Now our sitter is leaving. At first I thought he was ok. Now he's asking, all the time: "When is Gwen's last day?" And saying: "I'm going to cry every day when she's gone." And "Gwen doesn't love us. She loves babies."

And you also know where I go in my mind - that mommy guilt. That Divorced Mommy Guilt. And even though I know that Wallerstein says not to put everything back on the divorce... I feel like he's had this loss of having his dad move out... why this, too? (And now of course he's older & he's saying things like "When I'm at Daddy's I miss you. When I'm with you I miss Daddy.")

So, I try. I try to say the right things "Gwen still loves you. You can call her. We can see her." But he just refutes everything I say.

And now kindergarten. "I don't want to go. None of my friends will be there. It's scary. It's big." Which I know are all normal feelings, but....

THEN he had to hear my telling J that I had to bring him in for another blood test (he's on the small side so we've been monitoring his growth, hormone levels, etc...) His pediatric endocrinologist had actually told him that he had to go for only one more test - and then he wouldn't have to come back anymore -- and Nathan told EVERYBODY! "Dr David told me I don't have to come back!"

Except that on his last blood test he tested low for thyroid. So he has to get it re-tested.

So he hears me telling J and he's all "He lied! Dr. David lied! He said I don't have to go back! I don't want to go for another test...!"

And now he's all anxious about that, too!

I don't know. I mean, I know kids go through stuff.... and this is all relatively minor stuff - on the Stuff Scale ... but I just feel like they should be able to go through at least the first ten years of their lives without stress, without anxiety... there's so much of it to go around when they're older...

1 comment:

Gwen said...

I'm sorry, Amy. That is a lot of stress for Nathan and a lot of change. If I were an actual good mother, I would now give you all kinds of tips about what to do to help him feel better. Instead, I can only offer sympathy.