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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kids will be kids...but then, most of them grow out of it.

Years ago, when my kids were, I don’t know, maybe in kindergarten, they had an exchange in the back seat of my car which I remember to this day. My two angels were having a childish argument over something, probably a Rug Rats episode. My younger decided to finally end it once and for all by sing-songing “You’re so-oo du-mb” The older then produced his trump card. In the same sing-song pattern he countered with “Poo-pie he-ad”. I bit my lip, hard, to keep from exploding in laughter. It was the height of 5 year old debate and my older son had played his younger sibling like a fiddle.

That was about 18 years ago. I’ve watched those two toddlers turn into boys, into teenagers and into young men. I am SO proud of them I could cry, they are terrific people in spite of their parents, who blundered through their childhood. One of them struggles with Autism. The other does too, but in a different way. They’re both incredibly smart and incredibly brave. One of them is very loving and trusting. Guess which one?

And they BOTH grew out of the “You’re a poopie-head” stage by the time they were out of 1st grade. This is more than I can say for a great many adults I know. I have, on more than one occasion, found myself reluctantly in the middle of a work crisis between two grown-ups. It always consists of, basically, “I want you to do this” and “No, that won’t work, I refuse to do it.” THIS, btw, is also the most mature part of these confrontations. I’ve been actually been asked to sneak around and take notes in order to prove that the crisis is, indeed, a crisis and is being noted. For GOD’S SAKE! The issues have been, without a doubt, among the most UNIMPORTANT things I’ve ever heard of. But the eternal power struggle continues.

I could probably deal with this if I didn’t have the same crap going on in my personal life. Several years ago I met someone and we became friends. I used to wonder about the age discrepancy, which was pretty wide, but she was fun, I liked her, I liked her kids, her family. It didn’t last long; she is a person who flits from person to person to person, keeping only the most toxic and manipulative of them. These she clings to. People who liked her and did her favors? Not so much.

Anyway, this ran its natural course and, as is my nature, I really felt bad about it. She WAS good company and, in that way, I missed her. I kept thinking that the nasty chain of events that occurred when she kicked a small rock down the hill to amuse herself was just that, an error.

Apparently not.

Life was made difficult for me because, while she spoke ill of me behind my back and told stories that weren’t true and ever so slightly altered actual events to suit her need to attack me she maintained a relationship with one of my sons. The autistic one. The kind, loving and sweet one.

After much angst, I decided to bite my lip once again and take the high road. It was MY problem, not his. While we never, physically, saw one another again we did occasionally have contact, brief internet conversations about my son, and one of hers. She always assured me that she thought dearly of my son. I, like the fool that I can be when it comes to relationships, believed her.

What a fucking MORON I was.

In the last couple of months her blind hatred for me has escalated to some sort of DefCon number, 42 I think, the answer is always 42; I have that on reliable authority. And my son found himself on the end of a Face Book “Unfriend” and a block on top of THAT, his texts remain unanswered, she has become so childish and immature that she’s taking her own problems out on people who actually LIKED her and, more importantly, TRUSTED her. No, that’s him, not me. Although, for what it’s worth, I DID trust her with him. I now don’t trust her as far as I can throw her and the last picture I saw of her indicates that’s probably not very far.

Yes, this is a rant. It’s basically designed to make ME feel better. She wouldn’t stoop to reading it, nor would she believe a word of it if someone read it to her. Hell, if I were on the receiving end I probably wouldn’t either. Somewhere, deep in my conscious, I like to think that she WILL find out that I know what she did to my kid and she WILL grow a conscience and she WILL find the balls to say “OMG, I shouldn’t have done that, what a lousy thing I’ve done, let me fix it and apologize for acting in such a horrible, slimy and immature way to someone who never, ever deserved that kind of treatment. I was a jerk to take my anger at his mother out on a kid and I’m so sorry.”

THAT would be the mature thing to do. THAT would be the kind thing to do. THAT would be the honest thing to do.

I’ve got five bucks in my bra (yes, I keep money in my bra and so do a lot of you) that says it’s not gonna happen. But, like Professor Harold Hill, I always think there’s a band. I will always cling to the fantasy that she wasn’t lying all those times she told me how fond she was of my son and how important and dear he was to her. That’s not going to happen either. Because, when it comes down to it, how can I trust someone who could treat a person like she’s treated him? Trust it, hell I can’t even comprehend it!

The part of me that holds a grudge says good riddance to bad rubbish. Actually, ALL of me says that. While I'm concerned my kid is wondering what HE did to her, I, personally, am glad she's gone, from all of our lives. I have a greater appreciation for the people who remain with us than I did before. Someone once asked me what my biggest fault was. While I'm sure there are people who can, and will come up with something absolutely HUGE and AWFUL about me, my answer is that I hold a grudge. As in forever. You know that crap kids pull on you when you're about 9 or so? No, probably not. But I do. It's kind of hard to confront people with some ages old, pent up resentment only to have them look at you and, in all honesty say "What the hell are you talking about? No, I don't remember, it was 50 years ago!"

And this is my last word on the subject:


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