Thursday, October 23, 2008

Good Friends, Old Times: Mr. X

CJ's teacher called me Tuesday to say he was having a very emotional day at school. Apparently, he cried numerous time throughout the day -- attributing it to the divorce.

Mr. X and I have had a good 10 days or so. There have not been any ugly emails, he answered when the kids called, and he has agreed to help me sort through the school possibilities for Jada for next year. (Her current school stops at kindergarten.)

So, when the emotional issues popped up, I thought I would just have CJ call his father so they could talk. After school, CJ got in the car and instantly burst into tears. I handed him the phone and asked him is talking to Dad would help.

"Yes mom. I want to talk to him but I'm crying too hard. Can you call for me?"


"Sure, dear."

I called. He answered. I told him CJ had a rough day.

"OK. Toni, can I call you back?"


In 30 minutes he called back. Again I said, "CJ had a rough day. He's upset and asked me to call you."

"OK. What can I do to help?"


"Toni? Are you there?"

"Yes, I'm sorry. Jada was talking to me."

(Translation: Did YOU just ask ME how you could help? If I had heard that come out of your mouth before, we could possibly still be married.)

"OK. So what's up? Would it help if I talked to him?"

"Ummm...yeah. He's crying uncontrollably right now but he knows you're on the phone."

"Well...where are you guys? I just got off work and I can come see him."

Silence again. But this time I caught myself before he said anything more.

"We're headed to Applebee's. Kids eat free tonight."

"OK. I'll meet you there."


Yes he showed up. Yes the kids were estatic. Yes he talked to CJ about his school issues. Yes he talked to them about the missed birthdays. Yes we were cordial. Yes he asked me about every person at Greenhill he remembered. Yes he asked about Michael, Rosa, Elliott, Nelda, Christie, Jamie, and Gillian (our friends who took MY side). Yes I asked about his family, Tina, Tim, Cecil, and Yolanda (our friends who took HIS side). Yes the kids called him OUT on his new girlfriend/ fiance. Yes I caught him in a couple of lies (leopards never changed their spots). Yes I initiated a conversation about visitation during the holidays. And yes, I lived through it without having an alcoholic beverage.

So, here's the deal. He can be a jerk. He can be more than a jerk. But no matter how much of a jerk he is, he will always be their father and they will always love him. Even when he stands them up. even when they get a new step monster. Even when he forgets their birthdays. And because they love him unconditionally, I have chosen to befriend him unconditionally.

There you have it....good friends, old times, Mr. X.

PS- I did have one secret pleasure of the night. The kids mentioned a male family friend of ours who happens to be 38, tall, good looking, single, and "buff," as CJ says. They said that this "uncle" calls and emails them almost everyday, helps with math facts, taught them how to swim this summer, and lets them stay up late to watch the Disney channel when we are all together.

Mr. X's eyes got big, his mouth fell open, and I gazed out of the window. Nothing else needed to be said.


Vania said...

I am very proud of you! The Lord will bless your attitude and heart.

Common Sense Ain't Common said...

You are awesome...I am so proud of you and I am praying for you. I miss you and wish you would call me to do lunch or drinks :).


Life of a wanna-be model said...

COOL! I am praying for you also!!!!