I can finally talk about the life changes that I referenced to my Facebook readers. I apologize to those dear folks for my necessary vagueness about what is going on. As they know, I am usually very forthright about my life, but in this case, there were details that had to play out before I could go public, such as telling my younger sons about changes happening in our family. I am still struggling with these changes myself, but I have faith that they are leading in a good direction. As of last night, key people have been informed and the plan is more solid. Due to challenges my third son, Joshua, is facing, which are his own story to tell and not mine, Eric and I will be caring for our grandson, Aiden, for an undetermined amount of time. He is nine and in the fourth grade. We both love our grandson very much. He is clever, fun, loving, insightful, and above all, adaptable. My challenges in this have very little to do with Aiden or how much I adore him. They are purely selfish and that has been my struggle. Joshua has had custody of Aiden, his only biological child, for a little over two years now and they are very, very close.
Aiden living with his mother is not an option because not only is she court-ordered to have only supervised visitation with Aiden, but she is unemployed and living in one room at her own mother’s house with her two daughters (who are older than Aiden) and is about to deliver another child any day. Her boyfriend, who usually also lives there, was recently returned to jail, this time for assault with a deadly weapon and possible grievous bodily harm.
Joshua’s father is not an option because he lives in New Mexico and Joshua cannot take Aiden out of the state. That leaves us. This means that after Eric took on the care of my children when he was only twenty-one and at one time, had all six of them living under his roof, I have to ask him to walk this path a little further with me. This means that after forty-two years of taking care of children and finding that I really enjoy my youngest being fourteen and extremely independent, I have to step back and care for a very angry and very troubled young man who has gone through tremendous sorrow and upheaval over the past few years, which for him is almost half of his life. He has literally been in four schools since August and the one he attends here will be his fifth. Thankfully, he stayed with us for six months in 2012 and is familiar with the teacher, the school, and likely some of the kids. This is a VERY small town and the school he will attend has a total enrollment of thirty-five kids in grades K-5. One side of the building is a classroom for K-2 and the other side is grades 3-5. My younger two children attended school there and it is an amazing experience. We know from before that the teacher he will have works well with him and he is very attached to her.
I overcame my crippling anxiety and told my youngest son, Nathan, about Aiden coming to live with us last night. They did NOT get along during Aiden’s previous stay and the tension was unbearable. I expected he would not respond well, to say the least. To my utter astonishment, he was completely supportive and offered to help Aiden with his homework, which is always a battle royal. He said he would move into the motor home and let Aiden stay in his room so he didn’t have to sleep on the couch like before. When I mentioned my surprise, he shrugged and said, “He is older. I am older.” I actually teared up with pride over my kid.
Aiden seems excited to be here, but was very concerned about where his dad would stay. Once he was reassured about that, he seemed to be fully on board. How he will feel as it actually plays out remains to be seen. He is coming up with Josh on March 22.
Eric is concerned. I am concerned. After all of this time of raising kids, we looked forward to closing down that part of our lives and doing the things we want to do. I love my life of writing my books and now that my writing and lecturing career seems to be taking off, I looked forward to working more festivals and touring. Eric and I have never been able to travel together and planned that as well. The freedom was dizzying and now I feel a bit like someone who saw the door open, ran for it, and did not make it in time.
I will get past this and I will find the beauty in this change. I can already see good things in it. Because this is open ended, I have no idea if it is months or years. I am invested for however long it takes. Eric is being a very good spirit about it, but shares the same feelings I do. We love Aiden so much, but… I realize I am not one of the fabulous grandparents in the world for giving voice to my selfish thoughts. To ignore them would not be authentic and it is that for which I do strive. This news came very quickly upon us, out of the blue, and I am still adjusting. It has been a long time that the Universe compelled me to do something I really did want to do, so I cannot really complain. Just grumble a little.
Our house is not big enough for the people who are in it, but we will find a way to shoehorn everyone in. Our budget will be a little more challenged, but we will find a way to make it work. My patience and nurturing is almost nonexistent after all these years of parenting, but I will dig deep and find more. Eric, Dylan, Nathan, and I will welcome Josh and Aiden with open arms, open hearts, and an open home.
As this has presented, I have scrutinized the process to find any obstacles or redirects; any signs that this is not to be. I only find confirmations and what kind of hypocrite would I be if I only followed the guidance of the Universe when I like what It has to say? After all I have received, how can I resist when it is my turn to give?
It seems I found a way to do just that, but saner minds have prevailed and I am now moving forward again instead of sitting in the mud puddle pouting. Guess we are all just humans. The runner stumbled, but I am back on track again.
The Goddess will show me the way to do this and make it all a raging success. There are parts of the tapestry of our life that we cannot see when we stand in the middle of it. The Divine, however, can see the full, beautiful tapestry of what we are to be and I trust fully in that vision.
Congratulations, Katrina. It’s two boys.
Can I do this?