My 17 year old stepson moved out this weekend, back to his mother’s house. I haven’t blogged about it at all because I haven’t really figured out what I think. For me personally and selfishly it’s a good thing. Having him here has been stressful for me from the day he moved in. He’s not an awful kid by any means, but he’s not one that goes out of his way to do anything for anyone else in this family. He has seemingly intentionally divorced himself from this family, and when he goes to his mom’s house, he interacts and is actually helpful and does nice things sometimes. Therefore, the decision was made that he would move back to his mom’s house before the school year started. The school district where we live is one of the best, if not the best, districts in the state. The school district where he is moving is one of the worst academically. He didn’t want to move because he wanted to stay in our school system. Yet, when given the opportunity to do something to try to stay in it, he never engaged. It seems to me that he was more willing to move than to discuss what he could do differently and then follow through. When he was packing up his stuff into his mom’s van, and my husband was sort of helping, they didn’t talk. I think neither one of them knew what to say or how to say anything. The whole scenario made me cry. I could see my husband was mad, I could see my stepson seemed apathetic, but I wasn’t sure what he was feeling. I felt like saying to both of them “STOP!! Just get over the awkwardness and say something real. Say something that you really feel. Tell him you love him. Tell him you’re sorry. Tell him you want to rebuild your relationship. Don’t just let each other walk away.” My husband did end up going outside just before they left and talking to him for a few minutes, saying some heartfelt words, promising to try to make things better in the future. I found myself sobbing about it. Not because he was moving out, but in the same way I would cry if I was watching a movie and seeing this scene play itself out: A quiet father and a quiet son don’t know how to talk, don’t know how to be friends, don’t necessarily like each other even, and they are letting each other go without really trying to fix it, and you know what the future will bring for them… nothing.
There are some silver linings however. I no longer have to worry about whether my door is closed when i’m changing clothes. I can walk into the laundry room (aka garage) in any state of dress or undress to get something from the dryer or the hanging rod there. I can get in the hot tub buck nekkid without wondering if I can be seen from inside the house. I can come home and find my kitchen counters still clean (hopefully). I won’t find a week’s worth of dishes suddenly in the sink after being piled up in a bedroom with food still in them, crusting on and molding. (UGH) We can buy enough food for 3 normal sized appetites instead of 5 because we don’t have one person eating enough for 2. We do have to pay child support, but hopefully no more than what we will save by not feeding him. Clearly due to my sudden economic downturn this is important.
So, my stress level went way down on Saturday, only to be lifted high on Tuesday with the news about my job. I stayed home today to rest. I feel much more relaxed now. And, knowing that my son won’t walk in the room ignoring me completely does kind of help. Speaking of stress relief, it’s time to take my puppy for a walk. 🙂 If only kids stayed as affectionate as puppies. Oh well, at least they grow up and support themselves someday.