Friday, August 7, 2009

Kassidy is going home.

It’s hard to believe that on Monday morning Kassidy will be heading back to her Mom’s house full time. For those who are new to reading my blog, Kassidy is my boyfriend’s daughter (10 years old), who stayed most of the summer with us. I have no children myself, so it’s been one hell of a ride this summer.

It has been a bitter sweet summer. I learned a lot about parenting someone else’s child; about my patience and tolerance levels; about my love for a man and his children; about how I can’t imagine life without these two. I also learned that it’s okay to want to be alone sometimes. Oh and that it’s okay to say NO.

I’m kind of sad at the timing of her going home though. LW’s birthday is on Friday so I hadn’t had a chance to take Kassidy out to get her Dad something and with us being gone this weekend to a family reunion AND a class reunion (LW’s 25th), there won’t be time. We did stop at the store yesterday to get cake mix so we plan to bake a cake for him on Sunday when we get home from Springfield. Last night we even stayed up late so that she could hand make him a birthday card. But LW being LW, he didn’t tell me Kassidy was going back home to her Mom’s until just yesterday…so the timing was off as usual. But I still love him.

There have been some great moments with Kassidy this summer, and some not so great moments, but it all comes with learning how to deal with a 10 year old. I’m not a parent, but I had to act like a parent and that was hard. Some days it was hard to say NO, other days it wasn’t tough at all. Some days she liked me, some days she didn’t. I had to learn to put my emotions aside and recognize that she is only 10….10 going on 20 actually (as with all little girls, they try to grow up too fast).

We had our moments where we were verbally sparing each other, and we had our moments where we came together for her Daddy and said and did the right things. She’s at that age where she can make the decision if she’s going to like me, tolerate me, love me, care about me, or just plain hate me. I’d like to think we’ll never reach the hate stage, but coming from divorced parents myself, it’s likely she may just learn to tolerate me.

I know LW well and I know he’ll be consumed with sadness once he has to resort to the every other weekend rule. I don’t like to see him sad…it truly breaks my heart. You can see how much he loves his girls (for those that don’t know he has an older daughter Lauren who lives in AZ with her Mom). His voice started to crack a little last night when he was telling me this was her last week with us.

It’s been one wild ride this summer. I’m hopeful, for LW’s sake, that he can work out arrangements to have Kassidy every other week, not just on the weekends. It’s something he is starting to think about, so good for him. I’ll support him no matter what my feelings are on the subject. When I said I’d love him forever that included his children too. For better or for worse, right?


Julie said...

Welcome to being a parent. Kids always love you, hate you, tolerate you, etc. Even the ones you gave birth to do that! So don't take it personally, just know it's a 10 year old thing. (and an 11 year old thing, and a 12 year old thing, and so on and so on!)

You did a great job this summer, for being thrown into something you had NO prior notice about. (I'm still bitter that LW dropped the "Oh by the way, Kassidy isn't leaving today...or for the rest of the summer". We've gotta work on that man's ability to give notice when HE gets it!)

Enjoy your quiet time alone with LW deserve it.

Tooj said...

Julie is just right. :) They all do it, no matter who birthed them. I'm a parent AND a step-parent and it's a very interesting "ride" to be on, for certain. The only suggestion I have about splitting weeks would be to consider this: kids tend to do better when they have a solid KNOWING for where they belong. If she had to bounce back and forth each week instead of just visiting when school is out, it might be difficult for her to adjust each and every week to different sets of standards. I know it's hard on the men to see the kids go back Sunday after Sunday after Sunday, but the stability of a child to call ONE place home until they are really old enough to "get it" (late teens, in my personal opinion) is really important. I came from divorced parents, I married a man who already had a child. We've been the "visiting" house and now we're the "home". Both are difficult adjustments for the kids, but my stepson really flourishes once he's solidly in ONE place and knows where that is. When he first came to us, he had in his mind it was temporary or a trial run. Once he realized it was HOME he did sooooo much better. :) Just thoughts for you to think about and/or discuss. Happy Friday.

Danica said...

Thanks girls.

Tooj, you're so right with the bouncing between homes. I honestly think he would file for full custody if he thought he could get it. We struggle the first day after she comes back from her Mom's because her attitude is horrible, she's negative and lacks respect. Once she's been in our home for a day, she gains back insight, respect and she actually shows excitement about her future, about school and she's committed to herself. I think her mom lacks the discipline. Our house, there are rules and we all abide by them and respect them and one another. So it's a struggle. I want him to do what's best and I do voice my opinions, but I have to remember it's his daughter and only him and her Mom can do what they feel is best. All I can do is offer my support and love her.

ModernMom said...

Oh 10 year olds are so so much fun. I swear to you there is some pre-pms stuff going on there!
You can feel the love in your post and it sounds like you really had a great (and interesting) summer!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I agree with Julie and Tooj...being a future stepmom to Baby Boo isn't a walk in the park. We have her every other weekend and the first day she's with us is rough. It's constantly having to remind her that our rules are different from her mom's rules. True, she's just two but she's got to respect me as "mom" when she's here with us, like Kassidy has to respect you as mom when she's there with you. You said that you're not the parent but LW really are a parent to her as well. You have to give yourself credit that without you being in Kassidy's life this summer, the experiences that she had with LW may have been different. You added something to their relationship that is priceless.

I hope that it works out where he does have more time to spend with her. What about the distance between the mom and LW? Could she still attend the same school every other week?

LV said...

Keeping any child regardless of age is a learning experience. Besides, can wear you out. However, I still do it and enjoy every minute. Glad you were able to pay me a visit today.