There are moments, when the kids are home, that leaving the ongoing stupidity of this situation and the interminable nastiness of others out in the cold becomes challenging. Snide comments when the kids are dropped off, hostile glowers, insulting e-mails and letters while the kids are with us, all need to be shoved into the virtual toilet until the kids are no longer witnesses to the drama and bullshit.
Almost every comment that begins with “So-and-so said…” ends with an outrageous lie that makes me want to sit down and just stare at the kids with a dumbfounded gape, hoping against hope that surely they misunderstood something, but knowing in my heart, knowing from experience, that what was actually said was probably even worse than what the kids remember well enough to repeat.
It’s hard not to drop to my belly and slither along to the same tune, play the same cheap game, feeding the kids rotten poison to carry back to repeat, but before the thought even tears loose from my brain, I am aware that doing exactly the same terrible thing that others do is only harming the kids. I will explain, I will make the truth known, but I will not drizzle hate-spewn acid into the kids’ heads. There is enough already there.
And it is horrifying to even be that close to repeating the same low-life behavior I abhor in others.
It occurred to me that for the kids, being home with us is like a demilitarized zone: no lies, no insults, no accusations, no endless woe-is-me recounts of imaginary wrongs carried out by the “enemy”. Gary and I have a strict rule about no badmouthing, and even as often as it is done to us, we refuse to use the kids that way simply to lash back.
I’ve wanted sometimes to somewhat sarcastically inquire if anyone else the kids know actually has any other topics of conversation besides me and Gary, since that seems to be a never-ending harangue and diatribe, and we apparently are the perpetual guests of honor at these hate-fests. I stop myself by reminding myself that anything said simply to release frustration or anger is something that never needs to be said in front of the kids.
*Photo courtesy of Brandon Stone Photography*