Please join me in wishing my youngest son, the one called Gymnast here, a very happy 14th birthday! I am grateful that I get to spend today with him here in Texas.
But it doesn’t mean it’s not bittersweet. I’ve spent most of the last months questioning every parenting choice I ever made with him. It’s been very hard mentally, but I feel, I hope I am finally in a good place.
A Little History
For those new to my story, Gymnast is my youngest biological child. He trained and competed as a competitive gymnast for almost 7 years. Thus, the name. He quit last year.
He’s also my high maintenance child…lots of attention, lots of demands and lots of needs. Last fall, after living with me for over 13 years as his sole guardian, he decided he wanted to go live with his dad…in Illinois. It about broke me, but I let him go.
He came to Texas for Thanksgiving with us and my family.
He came to Georgia for his Spring Break.
And he’s spending the summer with my family and us.
But then he will return to Illinois and his dad for his first year of high school
Has anyone else done with shared custody that required your child to live states away?
I can’t lie. His move has saved me a tremendous amount of money. Teenage boys alone…and groceries. But boy do I miss him, every single day. And I hate missing the things going on in his life, not knowing his friends or his teachers and so much more. But I have learned, the hard way, that I have to let some of my kids go earlier than others.
Today We Celebrate
But today we celebrate. He is now 14…
We will celebrate in the same tradition we have had since they were old enough to decide…
He will choose a restaurant for dinner. And will receive birthday gifts at that time. I brought him a few small things I have picked up over the last few months with my cash budget. But the bulk of his gift will be cash. He wants to buy school clothes.
Ongoing Related Costs
I continue to for Gymnast cell phone. And of course, send him presents for holidays, but otherwise, do not have any financial responsibility for him. I did attempt to move his phone to his dad’s responsibility but he refused to pay it. And I will not lose my connection with Gymnast.