Second Time Around
In the short time it took for her to take off her son’s coat , he had managed to fling off his sneakers, knock over the stool next to the washing area and find a book on the table that he was man-handling at the point of tearing as he tried to look at the pictures. “He’s a little over active today. I don’t think he got a full nap yet. If you give him a building game; lego, blocks or something he’ll calm down” she tried to placate the atmosphere.
Used to ADHD kids since my family had a few, I assure her we would get along just fine. “When do you think you’ll be picking him up?” I asked just to get my bearings and figure out how my afternoon was really going to work out.
“I just have to pick up a gift for my mother –in-law; something to make her feel welcomed,” she looked a bit tensed. “It really shouldn’t take more than an hour. Thank you so much for letting me dump him on you.”
“She is coming in from overseas, right? How long will she be staying? With you?” although I definitely sounded a bit nosy, she seemed appeared a bit nervous and I was the older married woman. I thought I could give her a direction.
“Oh no, she won’t be staying with us. That doesn’t work out well. You see it has been a long time since I have seen her. I mean, except for our wedding a few months ago, I really haven’t spent time with her in a few years.”
Awkwardness flooded me. ‘Their marriage, a few months ago?’ So the mother-in-law wasn’t the grandmother? She came to my rescue. “Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to tell you, I thought my mother had mentioned it to you. Did you know that my husband and I were divorced?”
This somehow didn’t clear my misunderstanding. “Do you mean you were divorced from your first husband?”
“And my second one. I mean he is one in the same” she answered. I felt she and I were having a conversation in a different language.
“What happened?” Okay I was intruding her personal grounds here, but I was bewildered.
“When I got engaged to my husband, my mother said to me, ‘Judy, you are marring a gem.’ And I believed her, I tried to believe her. But he didn’t know how to communicate, how to show me he cared, I felt so lonely. And after I got pregnant, things really started to fall apart. We fought. His only communication with me was to tell me what to do, but I needed to do things my way. There was yelling, slamming of doors and a lot of pointing of fingers. Both ways. We drifted. And finally we got divorced. “
“How long were you divorced from him?” I asked.
“Two years. Right after Yuri’s birth, Samuel left and went to England, to be with his parents lived. I also went back to stay with my parents. I guess we were young and both needed support. I certainly did, I had a baby and not any way of supporting him just then.”
“I can’t think of a more nurturing place than with your parents. They are so warm.” I try to impart the love I had for her mother and father who had been my teacher and mentor were my role models in parenting and in marriage counselling.
Judy continued, “It was counseling full time living back with my parents. They analyzed, dissected, and taught me all about compromise, goal oriented plans, listening as well as communication skills to let him know what I really feel without being threatening. I knew I wanted to be married and I wanted a father for Yuri.”
“So, what happened?”
“When my parents thought I was in a better place, they called him. My father convinced my ex-husband that just as it is important to get divorced when needed to it is even a greater deed to rework on the old relationship and to remarry your ex-wife. My father offered him some pointers and to my surprise Samuel said he would give it a try. And we started dating again; first by ourselves and then day outings with Yuri. We took it slow.”
“Was it hard for Yuri to spend time with Samuel his father? How long ago was it?”
“A year ago. Yuri understood that this was his Dad, even though he really hadn’t seen him in a long time. Yuri had spent a lot of time with my brothers and he was able to relate to Samuel. But Yuri is Yuri.”
“And Samuel? How did he do with Yuri?”
“He loved the idea that he has a son. Samuel missed Yuri, but he can’t figure out why Yuri is all over the place.”
“Samuel doesn’t have ADHD?” I asked knowing that the disorder is hereditary.
“Yeah, “she said sheepishly, “he still hasn’t figured it out, but Yuri is just like me. Samuel just hasn’t realized that a woman can also be hyperactive.” Putting a finger on her lips; whispering “Shh! What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.”
And with that parting statement she was out the door leaving me wondering about who was running the show this time.