And while I’m at it, all the people who told me to stay away from the farmer when we were dating — you were probably right too.
And the people who say in the comments section that I don’t know how to do intimacy. I guess you were right also. Because clearly I’m having trouble.
I keep saying this to Melissa and she keeps telling me I made good choices. She points out that my ex-husband was excellent genetic material and he is a great ex-husband. That is true. I mean, we spend a week together in the apartment each time he visits the boys in Swarthmore.
The farmer is not going to move here. He’s decided on a once-a-month visitation schedule right now. And he told me that he has been keeping track of any money he spent on the family that is over $200 and I owe him $30K. To be clear, $30K is not that much for me. I can pay it back.
Melissa said I should send the farmer a bill for all the times I had to hire a driver to get us to Chicago so that we could do cello and still live on a farm.
I told her that’s not fair because I agreed, when I moved the boys to the farm, that the farmer would not have to pay for anything for us – he just paid utilities and taxes how he always did.
Melissa says, “That’s not an agreement you make going into a good relationship.”
I said, “Duh.”
In Swarthmore I told the boys they have to start doing their own laundry. And then I said they should do mine, too. They complained, of course. And I told them about kindness and caring and they better be nice to me because how you treat your mom is how you treat your wife and I don’t want my future daughter-in-law to think I let the boys walk all over me.
That’s true about how men treat their wives like they treat their mothers. For example, farmers have largely financial relationships with their parents, and that is largely what I had with the farmer as well. I didn’t mean for it to be that way. I don’t actually care about money and neither does he, which maybe means that was all we were willing to give to each other.
Some days I worry that my older son is not disciplined enough to make it through college. He does not read as much as I did when I was his age. And I was in special-ed English classes for reading below grade level. But then I notice he does his laundry like clockwork, even folding while it’s still all warm from the dryer.
I asked my son to do my laundry and because the last time I screamed this time he said fine. But he also said that my clothes take longer to dry than his do and he can’t wait because his biology tutor is coming. Impressed with this magnificent display of time management, I said I’d get mine out of the dryer.
Then, two days later, all my clothes were gone.
I tried to not really say anything to the kids. They know things are sort of falling apart for me: Yesterday my younger son told me, “Mom, it’s going to be hard for you to get a third husband at your age.”
I wanted to be speechless or deaf or something, but I decided a good mom would be reassuring, so I said, “Don’t worry. Dad loves us very much.”
The kids used to call the stepdad Dad and the biological dad by his first name. But recently the boys have noticed that there are huge differences between the two, so they say Dad for both and we all know which is which in context.
Of course, the boys are noticing there are huge similarities as well.
My younger son tells me my sweater smells.
My older son said, “She doesn’t have another sweater, all her laundry got stolen.”
WHAT????? How did he know?! The kids know so much more than I give them credit for knowing.
And I’m pretty sure you are that way, too.
I was thinking that I was worried that it would feel terrible to have to admit to you that I can’t keep a marriage together. But now I see that the worst thing is actually to have to answer my youngest son when he says, “Do you think that because I have two dads who don’t want to live with me that I won’t want to live with my kids either?”