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Great Sorrow & Big Change for Me

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Last week, I said goodbye to Gymnast. He decided a month or so ago that he wanted to try living with his dad. I was heartbroken and shocked. But at 13 years old and after a tumultuous few years, I did not blame him.

His dad, my ex-husband came to town for a week and spent the time getting re-acquainted with his son. (He had only seen Princess and Gymnast for 72 hours over the last 4 years.) And the day after Halloween, they left for the big move to Illinois.

We agreed to a year trial, and after that we will revisit it and see how Gymnast is feeling (and me.) I am struggling with the emotions, but in my head, I know this is a good move for Gymnast and hope he is happy with his choice. Meaning, allowing him to make this choice on his own was a good move.

Financial Implications

There are some major financial implications to this move. And although they might be temporary, I am going to take advantage of them and the break of from raising a high maintenance child while it lasts.

Gymnast has by far been my most attention needing, financial needing child…between his activities and his personality, there is always some need. I am going to learn to take deep breathes. (Don’t get me wrong, I already miss him and his smile desperately, but after 7 years of gymnastics training and competing, this break is much needed.)

Growing teenage boys can eat you out of house and home, not to mention, they won’t stop growing! Gymnast went to Texas this summer and came back 2″ taller than me. And no stopping in sight. New clothes, more food, all the time. His dad will now get a taste of that. (It was funny listening to his dad’s plans. I warned him that he would be wasting money because Gymnast will grow out of all the clothes before he wears them all.)

I am going to continue paying for his phone service, and his dad is going to cover the transportation costs of sending him to visit every couple of months. My dad purchased a plane ticket for him to come to Texas for the Thanksgiving holiday which I am very grateful for.

This was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. To let my teenage son go. To let him choose a completely different life, over 800 miles away. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. But please join me in wishing him the best of luck and if you are praying person, please keep Gymnast in your prayers as this is a HUGE change for anyone.

 

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23 Comments

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I don’t know if I could have done that. My only concern would be will your ex take care of him, he is still a child and needs guidance.

    • Reply Hope |

      Believe me, it was the most torturous decision I have ever had to make. And Gymnast knows that I’m just a phone call away from driving up and getting him if anything goes wrong. They both know that.

  • Reply Been There Done That |

    That must have been hard. I know that boys need their fathers, but your ex has not demonstrated that he is present in the lives of his two children. I think this is going to be a HUGE wake-up call for your ex as he is suddenly the on-call parent from day-to-day. I predict that there will be many adjustments between Gymnast and him as they navigate this. Nevertheless, I hope it all works out.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you. I agree, I think my ex is already starting to see the “nuts and bolts” of the day to day responsibility that he has never understood. But I’m glad he has a girlfriend who does have 3 children to help as I don’t think I could have let Gymnast go otherwise.

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    Sometimes loving something is hard because it means letting them go. I hope he is able to get the high school experience he wants with dad and I hope dad shows up if his son needs him the way you have.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you for your kind words, Cwaltz. I hope nothing but the best for Gymnast too, and I hope empowering him to make this choice has a very positive affect for him even though I miss him terribly and hate missing his life.

  • Reply Shanna |

    Sending you good vibes as you deal with all these changes. Having a very “spirited” child myself, you will benefit greatly from the break mentally. Wishing him the best with his dad and peace in your heart with your decision.

    • Reply Hope |

      Thank you, Shanna. I find that unless you’ve dealt with a “spirited” or “high maintenance” child, you just have no concept of what it requires. And although this decision was excruciatingly hard, there are alot of positives with it too. One of them is me getting a much needed mental break.

  • Reply OneFamily |

    That’s a heart wrenching decision to make, for sure. Hope it all goes well. SInce your ex hasn’t had any involvement for many years, I’m sure he’ll be in for an awakening as to having to care for a child.

    • Reply Hope |

      Yes, I have to admit, it gave me a twinge of joy during our first check in call when my ex stated “this is hard” and “I am working on a budget” when he couldn’t purchase all that Gymnast needed. I had to point out that I had been doing it by myself with not one but both of our kids for over 11 years. He shut up quickly then.

  • Reply Shanna |

    I just thought of something that you may want to check into. Your ex can ask you for chid support now that he is full time caring for a minor child. I hope he doesn’t since you have been overly generous in your dealings with him but that doesn’t mean anything legally unfortunately.

    • Reply Hope |

      I thought of that, but I don’t think he will. And since we each now have one of our children, it would most likely be a wash financially.

  • Reply Katie |

    I don’t want this to sound harsh, but if your ex has only spent 72 hours with his children in the past 4 years, I doubt this arrangement will last a full year. Parenting is unbelievably hard, and for someone who has been checked out of it for that long, it will not be easy for either of them. They both may want to return to the familiar arrangement in short order.

    • Reply Hope |

      Katie,
      I agree, it is hard and my ex-husband has little to no experience at it. However, his girlfriend has three other kids and that is who they are living with. But I will admit…as much as I want Gymnast to be happy and successful, I kind of hope it doesn’t last a year. I miss him terribly. But I felt that we were at a juncture where he needed to be able to make this choice and feel that letting him go was the best option.

  • Reply Canan Onat |

    Must be really hard for you. How will his father take care of the schooling? Is he as well equipped as you are to homeschool him?

  • Reply Shauna |

    Best wishes for you and your family Hope. This transition will have it’s ups and downs. I’m glad you’ll be seeing him soon at Thanksgiving. And I do think your point about allowing him to make this decision is a good one, that will only strengthen your relationship as he continues to grow and mature.

So, what do you think ?