Growing Pains

My daughter and I went out for a mommy-daughter date last night.  Basically, we went to dinner and I taught her how to play Canasta.  We had to bus it, since my car is in the shop, and all the time on the buses took time away from possible fun time.  But it was still nice to connect with her.  I miss her.  I work graveyard now, and I tend to be asleep during the times that she’s awake.  It seems even though I’m closer to her now than ever, I still don’t get to spend any time with her.

Part of that is my own darn fault.  The choices I make.  The job I now have–I didn’t have to apply for it, I suppose.  But then, when you’re looking for a job and you’re worried you won’t get one, you cast a pretty wide net and hope something catches.  So I’m here and doing what I do, to try to keep things afloat.  Like always.

On some level, my daughter gets that.  We actually talked about it at length last night.  See, my son hasn’t called me since our Christmas get-together.  He abruptly left home, moved in with my sister and hasn’t called or returned my calls or texts or facebook messages.

I’ve tried calling my sister (who is hard enough to get a hold of sometimes), and she says she is passing on the messages.  He’s just choosing not to call, which is weird, because ALL of his stuff, except the few things that were in his backpack before he went to my sister’s, are here.  I asked him at Christmas to contact his grandpa about what he wants to do, and he hasn’t.  You would think he would want his stuff, at least.

It’s as if he dropped off the face of the earth.  He didn’t call me on my birthday, and he didn’t call for my dad’s, either.   It’s as if he doesn’t exist anymore.  Poof, gone.

I don’t know what happened that is making him avoid me so suddenly.  Avoid all of us.  He isn’t talking to anybody.  My dad pays for his phone, and he checked his phone log.  He hasn’t been calling ANYONE.  Not friends, not possible job leads, not anything.

Willow is upset, too.  She misses him, and she says she’s tried calling him, too.  They used to be close and he looked out for her. It’s sad to see her hurt, too.

I worry that my son is depressed.  He doesn’t really have good coping strategies.  I think I’m a huge part of the blame there.  I’ve been gone for much of his life, even when I WAS there.  I drove long haul for a few years, and when I came home I worked and went to school full time both, and David was left to take care of his sister a lot.  Then Micah got so sick and I was trying to cope with that.  Then eventually I went back to driving on the truck.  My absence put a huge rift between us.  Up until David was ten or eleven, we were very close.  Then, he just drifted away.  Or maybe it’s more accurate to say I did between work and school and Micah.  I always wondered if he felt like I abandoned him.

I talked with my daughter about it, and she said something like, “To tell you the truth Mom, I felt like you did, too.  I understand why you had to do what you were doing.  But I still felt all alone.”

Damn. I already felt shitty enough about David.  Do I need to worry about my daughter and me and our relationship, too?  I’m hoping not.  I’m hoping that these talks that we have, and the many, many serious discussions we had about life, love, responsibilities and obligations over this last summer have helped her come to some kind of understanding.

But I don’t think David and I ever really got to do that.  I talked to him about how I felt about not being home much one time, and how it make me felt leaving him at home, and he just nodded and said he understood, but I think he was just trying to get the conversation to end.  He doesn’t like talking about himself and especially his feelings.  He’s shut in.  A wall.

I feel so wretched.  Am I ultimately responsible for how my son is acting?  I don’t know what to DO.  And since my son is 21, it’s not like there is anything I CAN do.  He’s a man now and responsible for himself.

I don’t know if it is too late to repair any damage between my son and me.  But I’m hoping it isn’t too late with my daughter.  I asked her if she would like to have date night with me every week.  I told her we wouldn’t be going out every week.  That’s definitely not on our budget.  But we could draw together, she could teach me how to crochet (she gets a kick out of teaching me things that I don’t know), we could have movie night at home.  There’s a thousand and one things we could do.

She didn’t even hesitate.  “Yeah!” she said.

I’m thankful for that, at least.

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4 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. You are NOT responsible for your son’s behavior. He is. You did your best by him. Maybe the best thing you can do is just let go. If he is still with his aunt, trust that she will contact you if it becomes necessary.

    Easier said than done. I know. ((((hugs))))

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