As is becoming the usual Sunday pattern, I called New Fella. It was a very informative conversation, in many ways.
"Hey, how are you?"
"Good. Much better than last night."
I was glad he made reference to last night. I wasn't sure if I should. I wasn't sure how stonewalled I'd be in this conversation. I knew he could very well draw a "none of your business" line with this issue, and keep me out. He did exactly the opposite.
He proceeded to detail for me the entire argument with his son, and how it escalated to include his daughter. I heard who said what, how it came across, what they thought, that his daughter stopped speaking to him until tonight, and even the ugliness of how often his son threatens suicide. He doesn't know the lump this made in my throat, the chill it gave me, having known the pain of being one of those left behind.
Apparently, this time when his son threatened, New Fella said something about that they all have problems, maybe they should all be dead. He said it to make a point to his son, but it made me feel sick inside. Thinking on the conversation now, I should have blurted out what welled up in me -- "No, don't say that. My world would not be better for that." But he was telling me about all that happened, and I didn't interrupt him. Maybe I should have.
It occurs to me now that he was doing exactly what I'd hoped with the text I sent. He was turning to me with his pain, even when it wasn't flattering.
Sparing you the gory details, the crux of it was that a lot of issues came out of their argument that they needed to hash out. They are moving forward with some things that had been stalled.
I echoed something he said, when I commented, "Like you said, maybe something good will come of it, even though it's too bad it had to happen that way."
"I'm just sorry you had to be here for it," he said.
"It's okay. Like I said, I can handle that," I said. "I just get concerned."
"So do I," he said.
It seemed a natural point of resolution. I asked how his week ahead looked. We ask this question of each other every Sunday night. For him, it's practices, games, end of football season. An excellent football season. So, I opened the door about Game Day.
"I really enjoyed seeing the game yesterday," I said. "That was really fun."
"Yeah, that was great," he said, with a lift in his tone. "You know, that really meant a lot to me that you did that, coming all the way out, even though we didn't get much of a chance to chat. I'm not good with conversation just before a game."
This is what I needed to hear. This is what I needed to know. Not just "yeah, that was nice," but that it meant something.
I told him how impressed I was with how good he is with those kids. And that they really seemed to enjoy him, too. He talked about how it is to work with them, that they "get" him and know that when he hollers, it's at the game, not at them personally. He talked about the upcoming basketball season. He loves this stuff.
He needed to go finish preparing dinner. He asked how my day had gone. I told him the short version -- my son ended up grounded today. Yelling at Mommy is not a good idea. We chatted about how kids need to be reminded of boundaries sometimes, and that was it. He promised to call tomorrow night, and we wished each other a good night.
So, now, as I'm recounting the conversation, I think of a bunch of things I should have said. Or would it have derailed what was a good conversation? He told me a lot I needed to know. Maybe the rest can wait for another time.
Baby steps. Things seem to be best when I don't push. So, rein it in, Blogget-girl. This was rough, but it was good.
12 hours ago