Some things I may never “get”

The Ex is celebrating a birthday this week, and, for a moment, I felt guilty about not taking the kids to buy him a card or gift. Then I remembered that he’s just not into birthdays or holidays — his own or anyone else’s. And except for Christmases and one Mother’s Day since our divorce, he has never taken the kids to get me anything, or to encourage them to make me anything (from what I can tell). I realize this isn’t exclusive to divorced parents, and I don’t mean to seem all sour grapes, but why bother when it’s going to fall flat? I’ve done it plenty of times to see the result. I asked the kids to make him cards, which they did with great enthusiasm, so I hope those will bring him pleasure. Honestly, I don’t even know!

He’s a good father; I just have a hard time understanding his way of thinking…still. (Never said I was a quick study.) It’s not wrong to consider each day the same, as he does — one big continuum of time like he blathered on about one New Year’s Eve right before midnight. (For the record, I finally told him, “Would you just be quiet and let me watch the ball drop?!”) It’s just not me, even though I played it off for years. Not me at all. We’re different that way, and I’ve been trying very hard to respect our differences.

So when I asked if he wanted me to bring the kids over to his house on Sunday, Father’s Day, I wasn’t entirely surprised that he told me he wasn’t going to be around. He said he’d celebrate with them tonight instead, but I think that was only to please (appease?) me.

That’s how we left it: two adults not really understanding each other, but possibly getting better at respecting each other…or at the very least, accepting that we’ll never change.

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9 thoughts on “Some things I may never “get”

  1. curt says:

    sad to say, but you just can’t make someone else think that something is important. they either feel it or they don’t.

    but, I’m glad that you are the way you are, susan — and, I’m willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that your kids are as well. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Writesome and Curt. There’s really no “right” or “wrong” and the kids (and I) are lucky that he is a great dad in the ways that count 365 days a year. I know people who don’t trust their husbands to be able to take of their own kids, for example, and even in the throes of our divorce I never worried about that. It just makes for interesting (and challenging) discussion at times, especially now that the kids are old enough to understand what certain holidays are supposed to represent. At any rate, while it would make my life a heck of a lot easier if everyone thought and acted like me (uh, yeah, MUCH easier), I guess it would make for a boring world. I mean, can you imagine all of us skipping through fields showering rose petals on each other every day? 😉

  3. I hate the idea of each day just like the one before it. I’m not a freak for holidays, but I like how they break up the sameness of everyday life, especially the ones on weekdays.

    My dad acts like he doesn’t care about Father’s Day, but he is bad at hiding it, and we all know. Problem is he’s the hardest person to give a gift to on the planet, because he has everything he needs and wants. We’ll see how it goes.

  4. Your ex sounds like mine. Even while we were married, he thought cards were a waste of time. I used to bring the kids to get him things…but no more. He’s never realized or even cared. I almost took them out the other day. I said that I was going to just be nice. Then I thought about it some more. You know what..he has a woman in his life now. That is her responsiblity. He’s not mine anymore(thank goodness!)

    I saw him today. Youngest had a ball game. It was nice that we could all sit near each other with no problem. It made me glad that we get along now for that fact alone.

    Great post!

  5. Hey Susan, you are a good woman. Better than I’d be, that’s for sure. You’re doing such great things for the kids, being so nice to and about their father. They’ll appreciate it greatly someday. Men are odd, divorcees or not.

  6. It’s almost been 6 since months since my ex and I divorced, and a year and a half since we separated. We too had an “amicable” divorce – after the separation “B” used to call me for dating advice. My girlfriends told me to cut him off, but I had been helping him for 20 years and it was hard to stop. But it’s getting easier and easier to cut the cord as we have both moved on to other relationships. Like yours, “B” is an excellent Dad, and we have 4 teenage children together. He’ll always be some part of my life, for better or worse.

  7. This was interesting. My daughter’s dad doesn’t make a big deal of such days either. They might not be important to him, but as I explained to him this father’s day – it is important to her. My daughter went out of her way to create this amazing card for him with very personalized details. Respecting my request, he came over to celebrate with our daughter… and was very happy that he did.

    So often, as adults, we forget that it might mean so little to us and in the greater sense of our world, but to our kids… it means the world.

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