Normally, when I put the kids to sleep I stay in their room until Nathan is asleep, and Max is very nearly asleep. But when J's there I skip out a bit earlier.
Last night, as I was skipping out, Max said something. I didn't hear what he said & asked him to repeat. First he said "forget it." Then he said - "ok, I'll tell you: Sometimes I think you love J more than you love me."
I went over & sat down on his bed. I told him how very proud I was of him for telling me. How wonderful it was. How it's sometimes difficult to talk about feelings... but it's important for me to know.
Then I told him how I had so much love - enough to love all of them the same.
And I said - you know, there hasn't been a grown up around here for a while & he goes "Yeah, yeah, I know - the divorce..." in his best teenage voice. (He's only 7! When did this happen?!) And I said yes, because of that. So sometimes I like to spend time with other grown-ups -- but it does not mean I don't like spending time with you. And you're getting older - you can really go to sleep on your own.
Then he totally called me on something: "But mom - sometimes when you leave you say you're going to check something, or go to the bathroom -- and I think you're going to come back -- and then I peek out and you're with J."
So, I did what any respectable grown-up should do. I appologized. I said he was right. I should tell him that I"m going to see J. And that I won't do that again.
Today at work I have spoken to one client's brother and another client's daughter. Both clients need care at home.. almost desperately. And both the brother and the daughter were.... well... less than agreeable.
No. That's too strong. I think they want to help -- but they're caught in their own messes... finances, illnesses, family stuff.... and it's so hard.
You know, you only get homecare through insurance when you're sick. And if you have managed care you might get 2 hours every other day for two weeks. Not really so much for 1) a person who is blind and also has neuropathy in her hands and feet - so can't feel (read braile, dial phone) or walk (needs to use walker - but can't because can't see....) or 2) person with parkinsons who had a fall and has bruised coxyx and fractured pelvis. Is in severe pain now & on vicodan. Is incontinent - needs diaper changed. No. Not so much at all.
And still - what are these family members obliged to do? Do they say - I will help at whatever cost? What about their immediate families? What if they never got along with my clients. What if my client was a mean, abusive parent?
It's horribly frustrating for me - in the position of needing/wanting to help these clients & their choices are so few. The two hours through medical insurance that will stop in about a month. Medicaid. To go on medicaid you have to "spend down" (meaning use up) all your money & live on next to nothing. Or hire an attorney to help you "hide" it. But for the middle classes... that's not an option. Private Hire. Private hire homecare starts at $10/hour. TEN DOLLARS AN HOUR. And that's cheap. It goes up to $17... $20... Who can afford that? Not an option for middle classes, either. I have a client who has a live-in for $200/day. She cooks, cleans, does everything - and sleeps on a cot in his living room - a room with a window without any shades.
I hate this bloody system. I hate how our old and infirm are just tossed out there - and how only the very rich or the very poor are able to access services.
It's not a lot, but in my world.... it's actually kinda big. For me.
Saturday J had a graduation party for his daughter. For a host of reasons I could not go. But I felt badly. Honestly.... this little wee part of me felt a little left out. But I understood the reason why.
The kids and I spent the day out on Fire Island - visiting friends of ours who have a house out there. It was a wonderful, fun, relaxing day! But when I came home not an email, not a message, not a text from J. All day. And, I have to admit, I felt even more left out.
Now by this time you know there's the Logical Amy and the.... Neurotic Amy. Like most people. Logical me knew he was busy, that he thought of me, whatever... but the Neurotic one felt very, very sad.
So here's the big part, guys (you were waiting for it - I know!). I told him. Not such a big deal, but somehow it was. I thought - I went through an awful relationship where I kept pretty much everything inside. When I was upset I'd rationalize it, I'd think - it's not so important, or I'll get over it, or just deal with it - why stir things up.... And I thought I am not going to do that this time. I thought - (and this is what I need to start to feel) that I'm important too. I need to stand up for myself.
Told ya this was big. (My shrink's gonna be so proud!)
And you know, I have this thing where I feel like I get upset too easily. That I'm too picky, too sensitive, whatever - so that's another reason why lots of times I don't say anything. But this time I thought - I'm STILL going to say something. If I am being too picky, too sensitive.. let him tell me. Let us talk about it. Work it out. Let me get calibrated.
And I hate feeling this needy. Insecure. And it's the neurotic Amy -- not the Logical one. My shrink says it's normal after being in such a bad relationship -- to want/crave/need more from this one. She said it will even out. So it was good to have that normalized. (Just when I start to think I'm really really neurotic!) And I'm not that bad - not like I'm stalking him or anything! Lurking outside his apartment.... wearing dark glasses around his office.... Nah. More just feelings. That I'll get through.
So, with a fairly sizable preface & explanation -- I told him. We talked about it -and the reasons were exactly what I thought. And it was all good.
Now, I'm a sibling. I'm the oldest sibling. I have a younger sister and a younger brother. But I'll be DAMNED if I remember teasing them the way my kids tease each other. It's crazy!
(Yes, that's one's hand over the other's face.)
For example: They both still pee in bed. One is five, the other is seven, they're both boys - so I'm anticipating (unfortunately) that this will not stop any time soon. Whatever. But one morning Nathan runs over and goes to me: "Max peed in bed. I didn't." Then runs over to Max "Ha-ha Max, you peed. I didn't!"
What's the point?
Or yesterday at the shoe store. "Nathan, you're going to get the DORA shoes! Mommy said she's going to get you the DORA shoes. You're a GIRL!" (The horror!) WHich leads to Nathan crying: "Max says I"m going to get the girly shoes! I don't want to get the girl shoes!"
I just stand there. Incredulous. "Do you want the girl shoes?" "No." "Then why does Max saying it make it happen?" And yes, I know - what was I thinking? How/why could I possibly think that logic would prevail?
And this is constant. The poking, the prodding, the running to be first. Always first. Then announcing it. Then pronouncing the other "loser." Or purposely sitting in the other's seat - with a hint of a smile....
But, what gets me through it is I know they really love each other. THey look out for each other, they play with each other, they care for each other in very very obvious ways...
I try. I really really try to ignore it. But damn.
And I wouold like to use this moment to mention how bloody annoying Blogger photos upload is!!