The Children of Five Husbands
Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka, one of my favorite bloggers, wrote yesterday on the dilemma of how to handle holidays when your in-laws don’t like you, but your family loves your significant other – she of course said it in a much more colorful way. I commented because, in my words, “I believe I probably have more in-law experience than anyone else on this blog unless Elizabeth Taylor will be posting.”
What followed was my recap of the best of the worst in-law moments. Each of the worst in-law moments involved incidents that affected my children and got me thinking about the impact of my choices on my boys. This morning I had a conversation with Son No. 1, a writer and stay at home dad, about various family issues and the family dynamic.
My view of the family dynamic was more complex, more weary, and today, more bitter than his. I believe broken families make for broken dreams. Oftentimes there is no good choice on whether to divorce or try keep a family together. Some choices I made were based on trying to make life better against insurmountable odds. I did the best I could, but have to face that for Son No. 1, it will never be enough.
Husband No. 2 has fathered four children – so far as I know, he doesn’t have a relationship with any of them. My older son was his second child. He hasn’t had a visit with him since 1989. After a rare episiode of regular visits, he turned his back on him. Since that day there has not been one phone call, not one birthday card, not one anything. The last time Son No. 1 faced his father, Ron Tuckerman, was in a Judge’s office in 1991 – his father objected to his request to change his name to Husband No. 3’s.
At that hearing Ron’s female attorney said the name change shouldn’t be permitted because even though Ron didn’t have a traditional relationship with his son – he still loved him. It was my fault she said; I was impossible.
Yea, impossibly responsible.
The Judge didn’t buy his half assed excuse – the name change was granted, but the damage was already done.
My son doesn’t talk much about his father, but he will talk about my shortcomings all night. What he says versus what is, is not the exact same thing, but everything he feels has some basis in truth. Our children’s lives are a perfect reflection of how we have lived, the good, the bad and the ugly.
The Good – my boys love their Nanny. The tenderness and love they shower her with is a wonderful thing.