Back Off My Kid








If you’ve known me for anything over about ten minutes, you would know – my children are off-limits. I raised excellent children. They might be a little rough around the edges, but they are intelligent, funny, spiritual, and most importantly, they’re MINE. There is nothing a stranger is going to tell me about any one of my children that is going to make me think otherwise.

Today, I received a stressful message from my son, DJ. Ever since he left Missouri to live with me here in Texas, his bio father has been harassing him. DJ is on probation for some stupid crap he did as a teenager WHILE STAYING WITH HIS BIOLOGICAL FATHER!! When we first discussed him moving back here, near the parent who actually raised him, and away from the deadbeat father he’d briefly been staying with, it was discussed at length the urgency that he follow every law governing a transfer of his probation to Texas. For months I answered calls from Missouri about my home and job, as well as Texas. When it was finally approved, DJ picked up his transfer and his traveling papers and moved back home near his family.

My ex, who we’ll call BF, for biological father, went ballistic. DJ had been paying a high sum for rent, utilities, and food, as well as being BF’s free babysitter for his 8 year old sister that BF has custody of. The only thing that BF has any real power to use to upset DJ is threatening to have him put in prison for violating his parole. Yeah. Great parenting.

I thought that this had all stopped when both DJ and I made it clear, DJ had followed the procedures exactly. It didn’t matter what BF would threaten us with because there was nothing there to use. So what did he do? He had his friends send messages to me, my daughter, DJ’s best friend, and to DJ himself, AGAIN throwing around accusations about DJ skirting the law. Plus, they informed me of the date his parole is to end. Really???

I don’t know what gets into a stranger’s mind that they think they can scare me into abandoning my own kid. I know for a fact, he’s living here with me in Texas legally. I also know that this isn’t about DJ’s welfare. This is about DJ’s income going to a deadbeat father who was leeching every cent he could get off of his estranged son. This is about having to pay child care now, when he once could pretty much dump his kid on DJ whenever it suited him. This is about money, not DJ’s well-being.

What did you really think to achieve with you calling out my son to me with half truths and a whole lot of bullshit? Did you think I would be friendly, and pack up my own son and send him back to be used? Did you think I’d help you in any way, when I have no idea who you are and why you feel like you have some right to judge my kid? You are a hypocrite, calling my son a liar. You called and talked to his parole officer, did you? You never got any of this information, that is almost word for word, exactly the same crap BF has been spewing, from my ex, huh? I’m calling you on your bullshit. You are lying. You are stirring the pot. You are doing this out of malice, and not for any other reason.

I’d say next time, don’t take things like this public, but there had better not be a next time. You aren’t a friend of our family’s, nor are you a relative. You are a stranger who stepped over the line, and I expect you to butt out of my life and the lives of MY children.

~ Bird


Habits — by Bekkie

I spend a lot of time trying to convince my mom to quit spending so much time with my dad.

This, we can all agree, is a losing battle. So here I will present an alternative argument. Bear with me.

Earlier in the year I was spending a great deal of time with someone who wasn’t good for me. He made me dislike myself, because I was willing to let him treat me like a past time,love myselfso long as he would allow me to be near him. Not good.

This is apparently a habit of mine. I have a similar relationship with my best friend. She approaches our friendship as important or unimportant, depending on what’s going on in her life at any given time.

What both relationships have in common is that I see them both as interesting people for whom I have a particular fondness. I allowed that fondness to dictate my interactions with them. As we all know, love follows it’s own set of rules, often to our detriment.

I recently moved in to a commune. Well, it’s not really a commune, but it’s close. There are four roommates, and they decorate, plan activities, and seem a great deal like a family that genuinely enjoys one another’s company.

They were my friends previous to the move, but since that time, they have converted this restless wanderer into a homebody. It began with participation in their activities — outings to the zoo/park/restaurants; crafting; playing rock band — the list goes on and on. Then even just enjoying visiting with them when we happened to be in the living room at the same time. They make me coffee now. One of them works at Starbuck’s and brings me coffee; he leaves notes about the origin of the coffee. Another helps me make choices — my least favorite thing to do. She just decides things and it’s done and it makes me feel so happy, and secure, for some reason. She does this for all of us. And we love her for it because she has our best interests at heart.

The other two roommates are awesome, just as unique and interesting, people but I’ve already run long with this, so suffice it to say, they add to the overall pleasant picture.

My point is that, it was impossible for me to cut ties with people I loved, who were bad for me. It takes a more self-controlled person than I — or anyone I know — to simply walk away from someone you love, even for all the right reasons.

Yes. Like that.
Yes. Like that.

You can, however, invest your time differently. If you have friends that are better for you — in whatever way– (sometimes better habits, or more level-headed, or in my case, more caring) then spend time with them. Take the invitations, issue your own, even when your heart tells you to rush right to —insert bad/toxic person here–.  Don’t try to quit cold turkey. You’ll still rush there 90% of the time. But soon it will be 80%. Then 70%, 60%, and by the time you hit 50%, it’s getting easier. Your world gets a little bigger. Making the right choices about people will get a little easier.

So what I’m saying to my Mom, myself, and everyone else who keeps going back when they know better is know your limitations. If you can’t walk away, don’t. Just walk somewhere nicer sometimes and give yourself some room to see a little better.

— Rebekkah