May 22, 2008

Remembrance Of Things Past

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste.
William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 30" (verses 1-4)

My daughter is growing up.

She's thirteen now, and like the joke goes, she's thirteen going on thirty. She's trying out all these new adult emotions, and combined with her BFF who is a complete and utter drama queen she's having quite the run. On the phone tonight apparently the topic was "Divorce."

Quick back story. When we divorced, the ex moved back to Oregon while I stayed here in Louisiana. I fought for and won custody of my child, at the time a wee bairn of three or so. As part of the settlement my ex has custody of her for the summer months and every other Xmas, said holiday being one she often skips, so in actuality my daughter is here for the drudgery of the school year and vacations with her mother in the PNW.

For me this time of the year is definitely a black-tinged time. My daughter is leaving for the entire summer, and the reasons for this exodus all come marching back to me, lining up like soiled soldiers on the parade ground of my mind to be critically inspected yet again. When my child comes back she'll be two and a half months older, will have grown in height and is usually shrunk a little in diameter. She'll bring back with her an entire huge duffel bag full of dirty clothes, and most of the good clothes she brought with her will either not fit or will be stained. She'll also be bearing at least one artifact from the ocean that is only halfway done with the putrefication process and several hemp jewelry pieces.

She'll also be different emotionally. Different parenting styles and two months away from her father and step-mom naturally change her. Did I mention she'll be gone for over two months? This time of year always depresses me. This year, it seems, is also the first year that it's really bothering her.

Back to the story.

Weerelephant's BFF has a mother who is, to use the polite term, crazy as a shitehouse rat. Divorced several times and herself a veritable empress among drama queens, her daughter has picked up many of those traits. With Weerelephant's impending trip to Oregon pressing up close (just over a week now to go) she and BFF got to discussing divorce and the causes and circumstances thereof. Naturally, in the worst possible terms.

Since I've been working to pay for an airline ticket I didn't get to hear the discussion between her and her grandmother this evening, but from what I've gathered they discussed the reason her mother and I divorced. I'm not sure what reasons were given by my own never-divorced parent but I'm also not going to delve too deeply into the issue. I'm honestly afraid to find out what reasons my mother gave my daughter. The point being, Weerelephant and she talked about it and decided that it was better for her that her mom and I weren't together because we'd be fighting all the time, and that was that.

Then she mentioned something that could only have come from the scatterbrain of her maternal unit. The reason, she decided, that her mom and I were apart was because "my dad is grounded, and my mom is a free spirit."

Ah. Well, that must be it.

I need to go build a barn now, and put the plow horse away. Ayuh, ye be having a good evening now, Good Folk.


Stucco said...

Yeah, but why didn't you get Oregon and leave the ex in LA?

Batgirl said...

Umm...I need a warning when you talk about teenage girls. I had to unclench from the fetal position just to come comment.

Having been a 13 year old girl in a past life, I pray that she comes back somewhat peaceable. I remember what a weird time that is for a girl...good luck!

Shao Lung said...

Pablo, let me know if you need anything, bra. I know you don't have the heart to do it but if you like, I'll pull'er aside and tell her some stories about her ole mum.

You know I'll do it for ya, main! Just say ther word! You're my boy!

I tried to warn them! I toooold them I had an axe! It was MY icecream bar!

Rudi said...

Chest pain.
Stomach ache.
Heart break.

My 13 year old will get an extra hug tonight and wonder why.

Jean said...

if only all dads were like you, dear man.

Nancy Dancehall said...

I know this is so hard for you, especially since she's flying solo this trip. But you are there for her during the IMPORTANT times, and she knows that. You are her strength and stability, and that is the most important thing you can give a 13-year-old girl. Trust me. *hugs*

Vulgar Wizard said...

That fucking goat!

Irrelephant said...

Stucco, she has family there, I have family here. I'd have happily swapped (except for the families bit.)

BG, I'll have to put a teen advisory warning next time. *wink*

Shao, we need to up your meds, don't we there sonnyboy? *lmao*

It's a strange and wonderful thing being a parent of a daughter, isn't it?

Don't say that, Jean. I have my flaws and tons of them. I just keep trying. *smile*

Nancy, I do, and will. *hugs back* It's just...crap, it's heartbreaking. Spending all weekend in that little camper with her, talking, playing Go Fish, listening to the radio. *shaking my head*

VW, I couldn't have said it any better myself.

Wes said...

I don't know anything about why you and your ex actually divorced, and admittedly the people who use this term almost always intend it in a more positive light -- but in my experience, "free spirit" often means "thoughtless and promiscuous." Unless I'm watching a "Ghostbusters" episode in which the containment unit malfunctions, I always cringe when I hear people described as free spirits.

Mother of Invention said...

Sounds like you and her step-mom provide the home base stability and love that is most needed by kids...and valued highly later on in life.
Hope you don't miss her too much. You can phone or maybe web cam at least....I know..not the same but...