And the saga of family life is taking another interesting twist.
Interesting like the Chinese proverb/curse.
Normally at this point, my reaction (and Yes Dear’s) would be a “meh”, followed by an eyeroll, then followed by “I hope he’s at least decent to the kids”. Because of her past history of losers (as well as using guys), that’s about the best we can hope for, and all we can expect.
This time, though, there’s a twist. A verrrry interesting twist. Particularly for my dwindling number of regular readers who’s followed my blog this far.
Her new boyfriend is known here as Big J.
He has a son of his own, from a previous marriage, ten years old.
The son is known here as Mark. As he has always been on my blog.
For the regulars familiar with my story, yes, that Mark.
For those that aren’t, Mark is our nephew. Mine via marriage, Yes Dear’s by blood.
And Panda Bear’s second cousin.
In her defense, Big J is not a blood relative of the family. His first wife is referred here as the Chunt, the neurotic baby momma who couldn’t handle any of her five kids from four men, so gave up every single one of them. Mark was number two, and was particularly ill treated while in her care. Nephew JJ (another I’ve dedicated an inordinate amount of blog space to) was number one, and even though it was discovered he wasn’t the bio dad, Big J acts as a surrogate to him.
Truth is, if all things were taken simply, we have no objection whatsoever to Big J. We’ve known him for quite a while, he is genuinely a good guy, and he would be good to Panda Bear and our grandkids.
The question is if the reverse would be true. Would Panda Bear be good to him and to Mark, or just use him like she’s done with so many others?
And being an in-family affair, there’s a whole lot of drama associated. Remember, Mark is the grandson of my SIL and she is thick with Big J to ensure she has access to him, and I’ve covered endlessly just how much drama goes on in her life. Worse yet she dotes on Panda Bear, who runs to her every time she has a tiff with us and tells her how mean and controlling we are to her (mostly Yes Dear). And SIL buys every word of it.
Furthermore, Big J is going through what’s turning into a nasty divorce with his ex, whom he just married barely three months ago. Yes Dear & I are staying as far as we can away from that, but the rest of the family is taking up sides. Worse yet, our daughter PBJ happens to be a friend of the ex and is caught in the middle herself. We did strongly caution her to stay out of it, but easier said than done with a 22 year old that’s still living at home and very naïve about a lot of life.
Did I lose anyone here? Sorry about that. Tends to happen when the drama starts.
Big J did have the courtesy of calling me today and telling me about the two of them, though he did wait until I brought it up myself. I told him that seeing our daughter would change nothing between us (we have been friends for awhile) so long as he was good to her and our grandkids. I also told him that they were both adults so they were free to conduct their relationship as they wished, and we didn’t want to interfere or run their lives, but we did want to be kept in the loop and a part of things. I did caution him that sometimes Panda Bear has a habit of misrepresenting us and the family and that if he ever had any questions to come talk to me and I would give him honest answers. And I told him that we would support him and Mark if the relationship with our daughter progressed, and we would still support them if it didn’t (provided things didn’t take an ugly turn). Under the circumstances, I think that’s the best I can tell him.
And sooner rather than later I’m going to try to talk a little to Panda Bear myself, difficult because she can be so closed (if not downright dishonest) sometimes. Unfortunately I think that all she hears is Miss Othmar going wah-wah-wah when her mother tries to talk to her nowadays, so perhaps it’s time I take the sympathetic but concerned father approach with her, like I’ve had to do with June Bug in the past with some success. Try to get a feel of where she’s at and what her plans are, and remind her that there’s quite a bit at stake here for all of them. Because even though I’m fairly confident that in a long term relationship Big J will be good to our grandkids, I’m not so sure, knowing her like we do, how well she can handle an older child like Mark and the challenges he has. Because she has issues trying to handle her own.
So on the one hand we kinda hope the two of them hit it off and make it together, because in order to do so Panda Bear would have to clean her own house (figuratively) and do a lot of growing up, which would become a win for everybody.
But right now the drama quotient has ratcheted up considerably, given the circumstances. And Big J is the kind of guy that’ll cut his losses and run if Panda Bear starts playing games with him. If that turns out to be the case we hope it happens early on rather than later to avoid a big world of hurt and more drama down the road.
And we’re tired of being lied about and portrayed as the bad people by the SIL side of the family. Luckily we’ve known Big J enough to where we think we can get him to see the truth without having to take sides. We hope.
And of course, if this goes crashing down in flames, the ones that’ll suffer the worst will be the kids. Our grandkids, who already have been through more and seen far more than they should with their mother’s shenanigans. And Mark, who we love and care about very much and also has been through too much. They are the innocents, the ones who have no say in what goes on and don’t deserve the fallout from the adult misdeeds.
So life has taken another interesting left turn. Curiouser and curiouser, where are all these rabbit holes coming from?