Normally I’m a believer of being supportive of your kids, even when you can’t be supportive of their actions. Sometimes this means backing off and respecting their right to make bad decisions, watching them stumble and fall, and be ready to help them back to their feet when they’re ready to help themselves (this does not necessarily mean cleaning up the messes they make). Sometimes this may mean holding your nose and acknowledging a relationship of theirs that you don’t agree with. (I witnessed something like this a few weeks ago, when nephew Mark’s dad remarried and half his family didn’t show.) Regular readers that have stuck around awhile know that I’m no stranger to such issues in my family.
But what do you do when your adult child is considering an action that is so cataclysmically, mind-crushingly stupid that it just wants to make your brain explode? One so monstrously dumb and with a very predictable outcome, and one which will not just affect them but innocents that have no say in the matter? One which you will likely have to step in and help clean up when it all goes supernova, whether you want to or not?
Eldest daughter Panda Bear, when the lease on her current abode runs out in six months, wants to find a larger place for her and our two grandkids. And move in her ex-husband.
Yes, you read that right. Her ex-husband.
The one she divorced two years ago because he has a history of being controlling and verbally abusive towards her.
The one who has a history of being bipolar and not taking his meds regularly.
The one who is currently residing in a rehab center for meth addiction, which apparently he’s had for a good five years or so.
Because “he has noplace to go! And he wants to be near his kids!”
And just to add some extra comedy to this, she’s got a boyfriend on the side. Actually not so much a boyfriend as an on-call booty call. Which is the part she thought would upset us the most. That she’s having sex with someone she’s not married to, even though they’re both adults. The boyfriend/booty call isn’t exactly a winner himself, but he’s the least of our concerns.
Keep in mind that a large part of the reason she came out here from Georgia was to get away from her ex, as well as various other people causing problems in her life at the time. To try to set up a new life, with some help from us.
And yet she’s intent on creating the same set of circumstances here that caused her so many problems in Georgia. Nobody has any control over the ex moving out here as well, since he did want to be nearer his kids, but that doesn’t mean she can’t tell him to grow a pair and figure out how he’s going to make it on his own.
Yes Dear & I have run out of hard surfaces to bang our heads against.
And as tempting as it is to cut her completely loose and wash our hands of her until she behaves like a functional adult, we can’t do it because of the grandkids.
Our biggest fear is that if she follows through things will get so volatile and dysfunctional that the authorities will step in and take the kids out of the home. Which will leave us in the unpalatable position of having to take them in ours. Not that I wouldn’t want to protect our grandkids, but Yes Dear & I don’t want to be raising a whole generation of them, like her sister (AJ is supposed to be a one-shot deal with our other daughter). Yet the only other two options would be her sister (my regulars know how I’d feel about that option) or the state (just as bad).
I’m afraid of us having to deal with the consequences of her idiocy, whether we want to or not. And once again, the ones who will suffer the most are the ones with no voice in the matter.
I’m getting a migraine from banging my head. So now I’ll let you bang yours instead. And afterwards, I’ll provide the complimentary BC powder and Pepsi.
So really, what could go wrong with this arrangement?