Monday, December 8, 2008

My first baby...

So I was going to write about my outing to the grocery store with Bubu, and all the adorable things he says. Then the reality of something hit me last night as I was trying to drift off to sleep, like a ton of bricks, and I cried so hard I could have rung out my pillow. I am still feeling melancholy so my focus is on that.

I've mentioned before that my hubby's little brother lived with us for over 6 years, and that he has now moved back in with his mom. Well when he moved out everything was really hectic, we were moving to a new town, and I was trying to start my Childcare over again, and get set up in the new house, I had birthdays to deal with for two of my children, and then the holidays hit, and I just haven't really slowed down a whole lot and reflected on the fact that he is missing. Missing from our house, missing at the dinner table, missing from our family Christmas picture. That one hit me hard, and I think that is what started me reminiscing. I was working on Christmas cards, and putting our family picture in them and I realized with a start that the reason they looked so strange to me (besides the fact that it is impossible to get a good family picture with little kids) is that Jacob was missing for the first time. Then my husband told me that he talked to his mom and she said J won't be able to spend any of his holiday break with us, like I had hoped. This just crushed me. He doesn't understand, it's weird but he is just not close to his little brother, not like I am. I mean he loves him, and protected him, but he rarely talks about him, never calls him, doesn't seem to make much of an effort to reach out to him, it really frustrates me. I think a lot of the difference is that no matter what J is more of an annoying little brother to my hubby, were as I felt more motherly towards him. Oh my heart aches. I am welling up just writing about it, some times the pain of being separated from him takes my breath away as I try to choke back tears.

He was born when I was sixteen, and I feel in love right when I saw him. Tiny, adorable little baby. His mother was neglectful from the beginning and I took care of him all the time. Late in to the night, while she was out partying. Rocking him, walking around the house with him while he screamed for his mother, taking him on long walks and pausing under the willow trees. He just loved looking up at the branches swirling around him. As he grew, he bonded with me, his face would light up when I came over, he had the cutest shy smile, that he didn't hand out to just any body. He was a serious little child, with big blue eyes that looked much older and wiser then they should. They moved a way away when he was two, and I missed him so bad. I couldn't handle it, I moved to be closer to him, I was so worried about whether or not he was okay. She was still partying all the time. I moved in with them, and saw first hand what a horrible mother she was. J had attachment issues from the beginning, it was obvious. It made me all the more desperate to show him that at least one person in his life would be there for him no matter what. At this point my hubby (not my hubby then) and I had been broken up for over a year and he had moved to Oregon, so I was really the only one left to keep and eye on him. He still had his sister living there too, but she was starting to party also, and really resented her mom shoving the responsibility of raising J off on her, who could blame her for that. His mom would be gone for days, and then come home still high and go straight into her room. J would cry at her bedroom door, and beg her to come out and she would scream at us to get the "F'er" away from her door, and lots of other choice word and evil mean things that I won't even repeat. It was horrible. My heart broke for him over and over again. I would take his sobbing self into his bedroom and lay next to him in his bed and read him stories. He would stop crying and listen, but his eyes, oh the sadness was too much. Reading books together is something we continued to do together over the years, and are some of my most precious memories.

I eventually moved out, my hubby came back from Oregon (still not my hubby) and we got back together. We would watch Jacob every weekend, and call almost every night, stop by unannounced, to make sure he was safe and not left with strangers, or put in a foster home like my hubby and his sister were, numerous times. When he started school, I volunteered every Friday in his classroom. Things were still just as bad at home for him. It was sad, but I was young and felt powerless to change anything.

Then right after he turned seven, she called and told my hubby (yet again still not my hubby, it took us a while to get married.) that she was being kicked out of her apartment and that she was dropping J and his sister and their huge, crazy, untrained, dog (uggg!) off at our place that night. Just like that. It went from a quiet life together with two cats and an indoor bunny, to chaos. I was not prepared, and defiantly not ready to fill in as a full time mommy (with out the title) for a seriously hurting and abandoned little boy. It was hard, and looking back I made a lot of mistakes. His sister, a rebellious hurting young lady, was hard to handle to say the least, she made it about a year, and then moved out unannounced. Left us with the dog (that I didn't want). That dog had issues too, but that's a whole different story. His mom barely saw him at first, she was all caught up in yet another man. But as the years went on she started to spend a couple weekends a month with him that turned in to every other weekend that then turned in to pretty much every weekend. He was still living with us, I still had all the responsibility of raising him, but she had all the fun with him on the weekends, and almost every holiday too I might add. It was frustrating to say the least. But we still never interfered with him having a relationship with his mom, and I tried really hard not to talk bad about her in front of him. She was evil to me though, and undermined everything I did. Talked bad about me, and openly disrespected me and I feel encouraged him to be disrespectful to me. So things got worse between J and I. The older he got the harder it got. The behavior, the attitude, the frustration just kept building. Our relationship deteriorated, but it didn't change my love for him. Which I made sure to tell him over and over again. He would test me, he was the meanest to me, but I understood that it was because I was the only person who stood by him no matter what. I was the closest, the safest person to take his anger out on. Lucky me. I missed our friendship of before though, before I had the responsibility of raising him. When I didn't have to worry as much about the little day to day stuff, and we could just have fun. We still had good moments, they were just farther in between. Reading together, a joke here and there, watching our favorite shows together. He would help me out in the house, or with yard work, just to be near me. He would follow me everywhere, even when he was verbally pushing me away. He had always been obsessed with were I was, and being right there to talk my ear off. Wanting to know were I was going, what I was doing, when I would be back. Which use to drive me crazy, and now I sort of miss it.

I sort of miss all of it. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I just miss him with every fiber of my being. This is the farthest apart we have ever lived from each other, and it's hard for me to accept. He is almost 14 now, and I don't understand how the years flew by so fast. He has only been over a few times since he moved out, and every time I see him I am shocked by how grown he is. He is taller then me now! His mom seems to be doing everything she can to keep us apart. It angers me. We did every thing we could to ensure that J had a relationship with her, even though she didn't deserve it in my opinion. I know she is jealous of the fact that I am a better mother then her, that's not a hard thing to do after all. She hates that J and I have a closeness that she will never have, something you can't buy or demand or manipulate or force. When J started to call me mom she played all kinds of mind games with him and went as far as to tell him something strange like that he already had a second mom that died and he couldn't have another one. This is how J explained it to me one night any ways, when he was telling me why he couldn't call me mom any more. I never expected him too, or asked him too, but how confusing for his little brain. Here is someone who is doing all the things a mommy is suppose to do, but isn't his mommy and the women who is his mommy is doing nothing, except filling his brain with garbage.

He may not be my child, but he is one of my boys. He is part of my life with boys. He is my love, my little cubby, I remember his angelic round face, big blue eyes, one blond curl on the top of his head, the way he would smile at me and reach out his pudgy little hands for me. My first baby, the one who taught me so much.


Mama said...

oh Riah...I am so sorry. I know you love him, he knows you love him. you have done everything you can to show him that. Hang in there.

Kat said...

You are an extraordinary person taking all of that on so young. And I think deep down he knows that he can always count on you no matter what.
Still, I can't imagine how your heart must hurt right now. I'm sorry.

smiles4u said...

First of all, thanks for stopping by my place...I am so glad that you did because otherwise I would never have met your blog and read this beautiful post.

I started crying as soon as I started reading this. I am so sorry for the pain in your heart and the loss of your boy because really, your the BEST mother he has ever had. I hope you never give up trying to see him and spend time with him. His mother of birth is selfish and hasn't a clue what she is depriving him of by trying to take away the one constant in his young life. You may not have given birth to him in the conventional sense but you did give birth to him in your heart.

I related to your story on so many levels. I'm not sure if you know this but I am raising my two grandchildren and I know all too well the heartaches you talk of and this journey you have been through. You were so young when it started and it shows what a beautiful mother heart you already had way back then.

I wish that I could give you a giant hug. I wish that I could give you a beautiful heart award because you so deserve it. I know you did not share your story for someone to say how good you are but that is why I want to give it to you. It is people like you, doing things like this, that impact lives forever, that make our world a beautiful place.
Thank you for sharing this story...I know it's very personal and painful but you have blessed my life greatly today.

A Musing Mom (Taylorclan6) said...

Big hug to you!

How wonderful that J has someone like you intertwined in his childhood memories.

Let him grow and individuate from you, a mother figure. He knows you'll love him and accept him when he returns. And he will return.

Then remind me of my own advice when my own children break my heart as they separate themselves from my identity.

Kathy said...

Never realised until today that you had written that narrative about J-Bird. What an extraordinary and complex relationship you had with him! Your effect on him is deep inside of him and it will make a life long impression on him. Sometimes we don't see the effect when we want to, but ultimately it was a work of God that you became part of his life at such a crucial time. You are a remarkable woman and I admire your strength of character.
your mommie