The Introverted Thinker and the Extroverted Feeler Deal with Divorce

When my children were eight and thirteen, their parents were getting divorced. It had been a very long process involving hours of counseling and had officially started when they were five and ten. We paid counselors more than lawyers, which is a good thing. My Ex had pushed me to fire my first lawyer and to switch solo counselors. The final straw was when he decided that we needed to switch couples counselors.

“I don’t agree with anything he’s said.” said my future Ex.

I was flabbergasted but really it had been obvious. “We’ve been going to him for OVER A YEAR.”

“Yeah, but he’s on your side. I don’t agree with anything he says. I don’t want to go back to him.”

I found a new counselor and found that I had a new goal while filling out the paperwork: amicable divorce. We did one session with the children. The counselor introduced herself and talked about divorce and said that children often had questions. My extroverted feeler son went first.

“Why are you going to Grandma’s for Christmas, dad?”

Dad began to say that I was being mean to him, but the counselor intervened. “It’s not appropriate for you to tell your son about your disagreements with your spouse.” Dad argued, but the counselor stood firm.

Dad said, “I want to have Christmas with people who love me.”

The extroverted feeler just looked at him. “But we love you, dad.”

Dad stared back at his children. “Yes, you do. I am sorry. Next time I will talk to you before I decide what to do.”

My introverted thinker daughter went second.

“Mom, if you get divorced and daddy moves away, and if Auntie’s cancer comes back and you go to take care of her, who will take care of us?”

I think all the adults were stunned by the complexity of that question from an eight year old. I had left the children with their dad to go to take care of my sister for the week before her mastectomy over a year before. It was the longest I had ever been away from my children.

I replied. “If Auntie’s cancer comes back then I will not leave you to take care of her. Either she will have to come here to be taken care of or I will take you with me.”

That was it. She had only one question. She was quite clearly satisfied with the answer. I thought the counselor was amazing to make them feel safe enough to ask a big question.

Previously published on some obscure place on the internet 11/2/09.

Mother’s Day Songs: motherless children

A friend and I are talking about Mother’s Day yesterday.

Somehow having a song about Mother’s Day came up. “Bet I can think of one.” I say.

“Humph.” says the friend. Or some skeptical comment.

I start singing.

“That’s NOT a mother’s day song.” says my friend.

“Well, it is if your mother is dead.”

“It’s not cheerful.”

“Yes, that’s true.”

So here is a recording. I haven’t learned the guitar part yet so I thought… well heck, why not sing along with Dave Van Ronk?* This is the third take. Might replace it with a later take later today.

Trigger warning: I miss my mom. This is about missing our moms. Hugs, all.

sing along with Dave Van Ronk

Happy Mother’s Day and hugs if you miss your mother.

*Is this a copyright violation? It probably is. Someone yell at me if it is. My brain is muttering something about sampling. Let’s see, from circa 1959 to 1961… does that make a difference?

found

Going through boxes, I found this photograph of my father, Malcolm Ottaway, working on the Cornell cycloton. He engineered and built the stand, which had to be mobile but very very stable. I suppose it is called something other than a stand, but he died in 2013 so I can’t ask him. The photo would be from 1964 or 1965.

I framed it. What was the excuse for not framing it before?

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: excuse.

Mother/child art

The photograph is me and my younger sister on our mother’s lap.

I have a collection of mother/child art. I think it’s because I was born in a tuberculosis sanatorium, because my mother coughed blood at eight months pregnant, and I had to be passed around while she got well. I went back to her at nine months. I acted pretty independent at that point and was not very trusting of adults.

I am taking photographs of the mother/child art for this part of my blog.

I can’t attribute this photograph. I don’t know who took it. Both of my parents and my sister are dead, so I cannot ask.

It might have been my grandfather, but I don’t know.

Music for jellyfish

Since I am still out with post pneumonia tachycardia, my daughter and I went down to the beach yesterday.

I can sit, no problem. I can walk too, but only very very slowly. I am getting annoyed about it which means I am starting convalescence. Knowing that does not make me any less impatient.

We found two beached jellyfish. Not entirely sure if they were alive, but maybe. Do not touch.

Pink jellyfish floating in shallow water.

Anyhow, my daughter got a stick and pushed each one back out.

Which makes my heart sing.

For today’s Ragtag Daily Prompt: music.

Mundane Monday #194: gull

For Mundane Monday #194, my prompt is gull.

Have you been gulled? Do you see gulls and photograph them? Are you gullible? Do you gull others?

Add your picture or store and tag it Mundane Monday. I will list entries next week. Have a wonderful week and don’t get gulled or fleeced! No one should pull the wool over your eyes!

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From last week, my theme was group.