Whadda weekend! Would you believe THREE kids’ birthday parties to attend this weekend?
The first was for a kid in Max’s class. His very nice mother called me last week, explained the problems she’d had getting my phone number, asked if Max could come to her son’s party, and finished up with, “And I’m sorry, but what is your name?”
So, nice woman, adorable little boy, but I don’t have what you’d call a CLOSE relationship with them. When I arrived to drop Max off, the mom commented on our last name. It’s very Latino, with a tilde and everything (courtesy of my Mexican-American ex).
“OH, do you speak Spanish?” she asked. Now, you have to understand that I went into mouth filter mode at this point, which confuses me, as I end up listening to the stuff she said, the stuff I said, AND the stuff I refrained from saying because it’s unnecessary. So. I replied,
“No, although I understand quite a bit.” [Enough to know when my former in-laws are saying uncomplimentary things about my haircut/clothing choice/children’s skin tone]
“Does your husband speak Spanish?”
“Well…yes. But he’s my ex-husband, actually.” [and a bastard]
“Oh. Um…so does he speak it with the kids at all?”
“No. They…um…don’t have any contact with their father.” [the bastard]
“Oh dear, I’m so sorry. Has he been gone for long?”
“About three years. Bastard.” [shoot. I said that out loud, didn’t I?]
Now, truth be told, I may have been a touch tense already at that point, because the next party, the one right after that one, was for a cousin on THAT side of the family. It was for the six year old daughter of my favorite members of my ex's side of the family, but I was already feeling a bit defensive, ye ken?
So after the first party I collected my boys from their various Saturday pursuits and hauled them off to wish their six year old cousin a happy birthday. Everyone was thrilled to see the boys, and expressed the usual mix of resignation and joy at my presence. Burgers were eaten, the piñata was beaten, and presents were opened. The birthday girl adores Max, and stood next to him, inexplicably petting his hair when he wasn’t looking.
So all was fine.
When we got ready to go Abby, my former mother-in-law, leapt up and ordered her husband to be sure to get a picture of the boys. Tense looks were exchanged, and family members scurried around, orchestrating a picture of my boys.
Ok, here’s my problem with that. I am sure, POSITIVE, that the reason they wanted that picture was so they could send it to their son, the boys’ dad, my ex. And I know that should be…
Actually, I don’t know what to think about that AT ALL. I mean, if he wanted to see his sons, that ball’s really in his court. So do it, already. Go ahead, give a damn.
On the other hand, the guy’s really screwed his life up. He’s not really a bastard; he’s really a sad, lost soul, who threw away everything he cherished. If a picture of his sons brings him comfort and encouragement, who am I to deny him?
On the other hand, I find the thought of him looking at pictures of MY sons kind of…icky. He doesn’t know them. They don’t know him. Does he show people pictures of his sons? Does he put them in frame in his house? It’s…icky.
On the other hand…
Ack, I don’t know. I did what I always do; I stood to the side, nodding vaguely as Abby told me lots of good reasons [lies] about why they needed THIS picture. Then as soon as the shutter clicked, I swept my kids in the van and left [escaped].
Today was the final party of the weekend, a party for my cousin Melyssa’s daughter, Myranda. T’was lovely. My boys ran free, playing with their cousins and their friends. Mom and Dad and Clay and I visited with Melyssa and her husband Mark, and all in all it was a great time, very relaxed and happy. [and that’s the truth]