Yesterday, we kicked the Boy out. He ran out of chances.
I was the literal caricature of a mother clinging on to her son’s legs, crying and begging him to give me a reason to let him stay. He chose to remain silent.
You see, last week the Boy made a series of choices that resulted in my daughter and I leaving. I can no longer be okay with compromising my daughter’s safety in the name of protecting my drug-addicted Boy. And the husband has to become a firm authority figure in the Boy’s life. I can’t be in control of these things.
No matter how you slice it, no matter how much advice everyone wants to give, this is not an easy thing to do. I love this Boy so much, and I have been lucky enough to love him when his mother and father were too fed up to give him their love. And I know, I know – the Boy has done me wrong time and again. He’s stolen, he’s lied, he has hurt and damaged me emotionally. But none of this seems important when you’re faced with the burden of telling your child they have to go.
When I met the Boy ten years ago, I fell right smack-dab in love with him. I remember the moment, we were sitting eating sushi and he was telling me about batman! school! hockey! ants! football! friends! army guys! I wasn’t fond of kids, and here I sat, in this crappy little express sushi joint, sitting with my new fella and his son, and I just remember thinking ‘My god. This is what life’s all about.’
When he was 10, he and I had a playdate and I let him watch the movie Jackass. I don’t think his mother let me see him for about two months. The tradeoff was great, though – we bonded and delighted over watching a bunch of adult men doing stupid shit to each other, and subsequently we snuck in a dare or two of our own. At 11, he and his cousin were watching Southpark when he came up to me and asked me what a clitoris was. I laughed and told him to ask his mom. Another month or so went by….but the Boy and I still giggle about it.
I remember when our family was going through some stuff about a year ago. The Boy and I had a long chat about our relationship, about how I was never his ‘mom’, but reassuring him that my love and admiration far surpassed that of being a parent. He said to me ‘Dayna, I know you’ve never been allowed to be my mom. But you’re better – you’re more like my big sister.’ That hit me so hard. Being an only child, I’d always missed out on that experience – and here he had given it to me. Handed me this thing, this feeling I’d been yearning for. So simple and so profound.
As he was getting ready to leave yesterday, all I could offer were my words. ‘I love you unconditionally. I will support you when you fall. I will pick you up and dust you off and help you heal – but it has to be when you’re ready. I. Love. You.’
…I guess I’m really brokenhearted.