28 April 2010

Buckle up kids, its gonna be a bumpy ride.

So, based on the phone calls that have been going on in the past few days, I'm about 99.8% sure Kid A will be residing with us by the 4th of July. (Why the 4th of July you ask? Well, he has to do summer school since he's all but failed math already.) Honestly, my mind is reeling. The screenplay for what is going on in my head would read something like this:

Tucker ( alternately pacing around the house and blogging while eating chocolate and sneaking sips of a Makers Mark & Diet Coke):

Oh my God. I'm not old enough to have a 15 year old. Shit.
I mean, most days we can barely keep our acts together, and now we're responsible for this kid who needs so much help and direction and... OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE HARD!
I'm going to have to hide the liquor. Which sucks because it was so convenient in our cute little bar. Boo.
And no more loud sex (was that TMI?). And no more running around the house in underwear or a towel. Must get a new robe.
Oh, crap. Homework. I thought I finished that 10 years ago. And Math. Ugh. We need to get him a tutor.
But hey, I'll have someone to play Guitar Hero with! And he is a good egg with a great sense of humor.
Oh Lord, I forgot about the hygiene. What is it with teenage boys that make them so adverse to smelling good and not having fungus growing in their teeth? I don't wanna argue about toothbrushing. Really, really.
But, I do get to go to IKEA to pick out some nice stuff to make his room feel homey because that is important and I want him to know that he has a home and we care and he isn't an inconvenience.
Even though he really is.
God, please don't strike me down with lightening for that last one. I'm just being honest. I promise I'll never do anything to make him think that. Promise.
*Sigh* And then there will be the joys of the balancing act between Swiss who, though I love and adore him, tends to take the more militaristic parenting stance (that's how he was raised after all) and me who is more talk-and-hug-it-out. Gah. We aren't even on the same parenting style page. That isn't good.
Oh yeah, I'll get to start up my own shuttle company. Because he ain't getting to drive until he proves we can trust him.
But he gives great hugs and it means the world to me when he tells me he loves me or calls me Mom (which is a TOTAL trip, BTW) and when he talks to his Dad and asks how I am doing.
Though Fletcher is going lurve him. Oh good Lord, those two could seriously burn each other out. That is a good thing on two fronts.
And it would be fun to watch him play football or soccer and root from the stands, watch him go to prom, graduate... I cannot possibly imagine how incredible it will feel when he finally comes around and turns into the human being I (we) always knew he could be.
But mostly, am I ready for this?

Tucker then collapses on the sofa clutching her chocolate and drink, losing herself in hours of HGTV/Food Network to quiet her mind.

End scene.

So yes, this is going to be a monstrous change. Obvs Swiss and I have a metric TON to talk about, house rules to set, expectations of one another, signs we can use to let each other know when they need to re-evaulate, a house to teen-proof, the list goes on. Plus there will be multiple trips back home to get everything taken care of. And there goes the trip we had planned to Banff this summer. But then again, I guess this isn't all about me and us anymore.

Wow. This insta-family business is sort of overwhelming.


Sis B said...

1. Children are an incredible inconvenience, even if they spring from your own loins. There is not one single little convenient thing about having kids. Except maybe being able to blame public farts on them, but then it only works until they can talk.

2. Being a stepmother is harder than being pregnant and giving birth three times. Especially if you are trying hard to do it well. Adjusting to your own kid is hard, but you have a biological connection to them that kicks you into action. Taking on a kid that is nearly grown that you don't get the bio-boost with is difficult. I'm glad you realize these things.

3. You will grow and adjust and learn and it will be ok. I'm glad you're taking this seriously and are honest enough to say the things you think are awful to say and think.

4. When you enter another human into a dynamic, all the rules change and the way you relate to each other may change, too. You and Swiss might argue more because you disagree about what's best. Some days he might have a glowy light around him because you admire his parenting, and some days you might be completely turned off because you think he is messing up. Sometimes you might be jealous or feel put on the back burner by the kid, sometimes he might be jealous of Swiss's attention for you, etc. Just be ready to hold on for a rough ride.

5. Speaking of rough rides, the end of loud sex is a serious bummer and one that I have bemoaned (heh, get it?) on multiple occasions. How's that for TMI!?

6. Don't be scared. You will grow a ton through this. Growth is a bit uncomfortable at times, though. :)

Sis B said...

Oh, and be wary of resentment. Swiss may never fully express his appreciation for your taking on this job with such seriousness. I know that on a daily basis I struggle with being resentful towards SB, because I want him to acknowledge just how much work I'm putting in to making sure his daughter has a good life. We have spent more money than I can say, I have put in more time, hours and effort into her wellbeing than I have my own. Sometimes I want to get pissed at him for being so dense, but in the end, I'm not doing this for him. She needs me. She needs a better life, and I have the opportunity to give it to her. I can guide her and nurture her and maybe give her a more hopeful future.

You need to figure out a way to take this on without feeling like Swiss is indebted to you. You're giving up a lot. Make sure you give it up freely, without strings, or your marriage might suffer in the long run. Focus on the fact that you have the opportunity to turn someone's life around. You will have immediate influence on him to have a good future, and you will be making society a better place at the same time. Find a way to see it as a gift, and you'll be better off.

Good luck, and if you have any questions or want more conversation or whatnot, you know how to find me. :)

Tucker said...

Oh Sis B, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all of that. This is the stuff I NEED to hear right now and I am beyond grateful for all that you shared.

I know this is going to be a challenge of serious magnitude, I know that Swiss and I will have to make a more concerted effort to have us time, I know that what we are doing- though terribly inconvenient and hard and overwhelming- is so important and we are going to make a HUGE difference in his life. I know this means sacrifices and struggles and hopefully being aware of these things will help me (us) nip it in the bud and prevent it from harming our marriage.

Anyway, I just really want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for your honesty and willingness to share. You are a Rock Star and even if SB doesn't thank you, some day your Step-daughter will, and that will make it all worth it.

Thanks again.