- Cooking dinner with the boy. One of the nights I was in charge of making dinner, and instead of sitting outside with everyone else and talking he stayed inside and helped me make dinner. We had some really nice time to talk about things. He said, "I really like hanging out with you guys. We have a lot of fun and laugh a lot." This is a major deal considering a year and a half ago he was trying to make up reasons not to come to dad's for the weekend. I feel like we've really turned a corner with the boy, and especially with him and I. His mom has always told him that I was the reason for their divorce (which is not true), but against all of the odds he has made his own opinions about me. This was one of those times that really made me realize that I am doing the right things, and that I'm on the right path with my relationship with him. We talked about the upcoming school year, girls, grades, his mom, her BF, and his sister. I was the oldest in my house, and he's the oldest and I think that we both share the same annoyances of having a younger sibling. I told him that if he ever needs anything I'm always there for him to talk to, and that I enjoy our talks. It was very sweet.
- The boy talking about living with us. On multiple occasions during the trip he kept bringing up how he thinks he might want to live with us some day. He said he's not happy at home, and how mom and the BF are never around. He's worried that his mom would feel betrayed. We discussed with him that it would be his decision, but that things are not always fun fun fun and cheery at our house. There are rules, chores, punishments, and bad grades will not be tolerated. The love of my life let him know that he is always welcome, but he wouldn't be allowed to move back and forth when he pleases. If he moved in with us it would be through the end of high school. His other main concern? Would he have his own room. Of course. We would make sure that he had his own space that would be his own, and his sister would need to sleep on the couch during her visits. Should be interesting to see what happens...
- The girl lost her cell phone. Do you ever get sick of a teenager with a cell phone stuck to her like glue? If you have never experienced this...be glad. It is annoying as hell! The worst part is this particular teenager uses it as her lifeline to the BM at all times. We have a rule about the phone. No phone after 10pm. This is reasonable given that she is 12 years old. So, we take it away at 10pm, but when she wakes up in the morning...before she even goes to the bathroom she is there to get it. God forbid she doesn't text her mom about some silly dream she had, or to let her know what color her poop is for the day. One of the days I had had enough and just really wanted some peace from the phone. So...I did what any other rational mature adult would do...I hid the phone. She was in a panic, and asked everyone if they had seen it. All the while I had it stowed away until the next day. I know it's bad, but I did get a sick pleasure out of her not having it. I mean, if we can't have one vacation day without the BM involved in it...what kind of vacation is it really? The good news is that she survived, and "found" her phone by the next day.
- The boy asking my uncle about his gay lifestyle. We stayed with my uncle and his husband during our trip. They have been together for about 18 years. To me, it's completely normal. For a couple of kids that have never really spent any time around a gay couple, this was something new for them. Now, I must say that the love of my life and the BM did raise them to be gay friendly and really just nice to all people equally. The boy asked us if he could ask questions if he had them. We told him that they are like any other couple, and he could ask questions, but he better be respectful. One morning my uncle tells us that the night before he had a question. #1.) Who would be the man and who would be the woman in the relationship? Answer: Um, we're equals. If one person wanted to be the "woman", that would be an entirely different kind of relationship. Kids are hilarious.
- The death of a cat. One of the kid's cats had gotten bit by a spider a few months back. Took some antibiotics, and seemed to be healed. 2 weeks ago the cat mysteriously ended up with a broken paw. The BM didn't want to take him to the vet again and told the kids that she would put him in a cage in the laundry room, and he would heal. (For the record...this is not at all how I would handle things.) While we were gone on vacation the boy was talking to his mom one night and comes in to talk to me afterwards. He's a little down. I ask what's wrong. He makes me promise not to tell his dad or sister. I agree, and he tells me that the cat died. I was shocked, and obviously he was too. I asked why his mom didn't tell his sister, and here is what he said. "Mom said that the girl didn't ask about the cat, and since she obviously didn't care...she didn't need to know." I'm sorry...WTF??!?!?! This is something you need to say, "honey, I have something to tell you" and then you tell her. Unfortunately, the girl ends up finding out in a random conversation with her brother the next day. Real nice mom...don't think you are winning any mother of the year awards anytime soon.
- Just another day at the beach. The day I've been looking forward to all week was finally here. The day we were going to the beach. I love the beach! I love the sound of the water, the laying on a blanket reading a book, and feeling the warm sun relax me. This was not that kind of day. It started off good. We found a spot, set up, and I went into relax mode. Until...the girl keeps shuffling her feet in the sand when she walks right in front of me kicking sand around which keeps getting in my eyes. The first time I asked her to stop. The second time I asked her to stop. The third time I started getting totally pissed. You are 12 years old! Walk around, pick up your feet, move your chair...anything to make you stop kicking sand in my eyes. Eventually I lost it when she threw the boogie board down by me doing it again. That time though she was just listening to her dad who told her to throw it there because he was trying to help the boy with what they thought might have been an injury. (It wasn't...just a cramp in some unused muscles.) By that time it was too late. I was so fed up with this unrelaxing day at the beach, and end up in a fight with the girl and the love of my life. I keep hoping we are leaving soon. I'm looking over at all of these other people relaxing and having fun. Then I realized...I'm no longer 18 hanging at the beach with my friends. The boys aren't looking at me like I'm hot. They are looking at me like a crazy old lady with teenage kids. Getting older sucks!
- My deodorant has cooties. I'm a clean person. I take good care of myself. But it turns out that all this time I didn't know it...my deodorant has cooties. No cooties that anyone else can see other than the girl. It has "your not my mom" cooties. The girl runs out of her own deodorant, and asks if I have a new one. I tell her no, but that she can use mine. She makes a face and says, "um, I think I'm ok." Really? You're ok? You'd rather smell than use MY deodorant? Is this rational? Of course not. Did she use it though...I know you want to know. Yes, she did use it. She just did it when she thought I wasn't looking. Do you think that makes it have less cooties if I don't know she's using it? Hmmmm...weird. This is exactly the kind of thing that reminds you that you are not the mom.
All in all, it was a great trip. Everyone had fun and the kids were thankful and appreciative. My uncle even said they were well behaved and welcome back again. That's a plus in my book!!!