The Hillhouse

The Journey of a Mother and Son

July 4th Pics July 5, 2012

Our Fourth of July in Saratoga Springs, New York

Elihu meets Jeremy, a fantastic drummer busking on Broadway

Elihu jams with Jeremy

Elihu takes a spin on the homemade drums

Finally, the duck pond in Congress Park

Posing with a duck

Elihu takes a quiet moment ‘to connect’ with the duck before he lets it go

Watching a great kid drummer and his band

Aahh!

the joy of the Fourth

The tip jar on the morning after

 

Kaboom! June 4, 2012

Well. Everything had settled nicely, in spite of Fareed’s having put ‘summer shit’ in the subject line of his emails. I understand his frustration. I do. But finally it seemed we’d hit upon a win-win. Elihu would remain in Saratoga for the 4th of July, and then he would spend a good, long vacation in Dekalb with Fareed later in the summer. Then, in looking more closely at Fareed’s open-ended, still-not- defined-by-exact-dates proposed visit, I realized that he might well be here with us on the 4th. While his visiting is always welcome, and we usually have a fine time (I make a nice dinner or two, we have a little family excursion, etc.) I knew that for some reason, Elihu had liked spending the holiday just me and him. So in the spirit of this full-disclosure, give-the-kid-his-voice sort of debate we’d entered into since last night, I thought it better to address it now than later. So I did. Guess I should have prefaced it with some explanation, because the response was anything but friendly. Really. And I was stopped. It’s stuff like this that has my heart racing whenever I see an email from Fareed. I hate this stuff. Man I do. Guess I need thicker skin.

I, of course, will not copy his email here, but suffice to say that his main points were these: 1) I am deeply selfish 2) Waldorf is selfish 3) I have lots of bad karma coming my way because of points 1 and 2. Man. Seriously??  I’m not good with this kind of crap. Plus he says it all in a facetious tone, which makes it even sicker to hear. Am I so selfish?? I honestly don’t think so. But he does, which has me wondering – what would he have me do to think otherwise? I know him pretty well, so I can guess… He’s told me before to get a job. Ok, a job between 8 and 1:30. Hmm. That I don’t have to work nights or weekends. No place will accept those terms, I know, I’ve applied to them all! Hmm, maybe I should think outside the box… I know! I can teach piano lessons! That way I can be home with my child, plus  make some income! Obviously, that’s not good enough for him. Hey, if I weren’t a single, full-time mom, there are lots of things I might do. But for now, they’re not options. But tell that to Fareed. He will not hear it.

What else might I do to change Fareed’s seeing me as a selfish, mean bitch? Letting him stay with us on the 4th? I really don’t care that much if he does or not. If that’s all it takes to calm this fire, maybe I’ll just tell Elihu it ain’t worth making a fuss over. I think he’ll understand.

Fireworks, indeed. Blew up in my face, they did. Can’t wait for the 4th…

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Here is the response I sent to his nasty email. Sigh. Are my feelings clear?? Hope so.

Look, Elihu and I have our thing – and you and Elihu have yours. !  I’m not being mean – come on – give me a break!! You’re always welcome when you’re here – I always make sure to have good food and make you comfortable. Where is this coming from??? Elihu expects it will be the two of us here on the 4th – he’s talked about that before. I’ll talk with him again about it if you want – all you have to do is ask nicely!! Why this venom?? I’m just speaking up for our son! There’s no personal attack on you here, I assure you!

That you still can’t see the incredible opportunity and gift that Waldorf is (I do realize you’re not here to witness it) and continue to bring it up as if it were some horrible mistake or selfish move on my part (?!) – that itself shows inherent selfishness. I am Elihu’s advocate, so I had to get him into that school. Plus I also encourage his relationship with you. It blows my mind that you don’t appreciate either one of those things.

After all the heartbreak and shit you’ve put on me, that you can even get angry at me is evidence that you’re lost to reason.  And I thought we were all three finding a happy balance. I was thrilled we’d finally found a happy solution for this summer. Had we not?? Damn. I couldn’t be more surprised by your venom.

Karma? I think I’m doing a good job of playing nice, building a good life for our son, and respecting your needs as a father. I look forward to my ‘karmic payback’ – because I’ll reap love and kindness. I know you will too, when you’re free of all this hate vision and can see that none of my actions are about anything but creating a good life for me and our son. My needs are modest, my requests of life are few. My objective is not to break anyone’s heart, but to see everyone feel respected and satisfied.

Can’t you please be nice? I’m trying my best, I hope you can do the same.