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9:52 a.m. - 2012-06-26
Boys in my house.

Wolf had a terrific birthday. His BFF Mack was able to come over. In fact Mack is crashed out on the couch right now with Mandy the cat sleeping on his head. Poor Mack looks like he's wearing a fur turban. The kid is a sweetie-pie. And so grateful! He loves coming over here. Not that he really complains about his home life, but being the official Grandpa watcher and his horrible father's buttboy slave is taking a toll on him. From Mack's occasional comments and the way you can actually watch the stress roll off and his transformation into a kid again it's obvious my son's best buddy is not having an easy time of it lately. Last night at dinner he complimented the food several times and said he never eats like this at home. Wolf told him that everybody gets their choice of menu for birthday dinners here and Mack said that was wonderful. I suggested he come back on his birthday and I'd make him a special dinner too and the kid's face lit up like the sun. Then Mack sighed and said in a quiet little voice that coming here for his birthday would be his best birthday ever. Jeeze. Stab me in the heart why don'tcha?

Look, I know Mack's father can't be doing everything wrong, Mack went back to district school this year too. He and Wolf were the only two kids out the entire 8th grade class to do it. So in some ways Bri being such a hard ass with his son has paid off. Lord knows parenting kids on the spectrum is a brutal business and sometimes being a hard ass is the only thing you can do, but there's also room for kindness. Heh, Mick once described my mothering style as 'chocolate-dipped concrete'- sweet on the outside, unmovable on the inside. I prefer to think of it more in terms of the donkey method aka: carrot and stick, but honestly? There were a whole lot of years when it was ALL stick. If you'd told me 6-7 years ago that Wolf's 15th birthday would be so relaxed and fun, that Wolf would have just finished a very successful year in public high school without a single disciplinary incident and that my hostile, uncommunicative, mess making, tantrum throwing unholy terror of a child would be sweet, funny, reliable and a model of self-control I'd have laughed hysterically and then burst into tears over you being so cruel as to offer up such an impossible vision of the future. Back then I was exhausted, heartsick and scared all the time. And angry. Angry at myself, angry at my kid, angry at the goddamned wall between my boy and the outside world. Angry at the ex in whom I could see a snarkier, older, slightly more communicative version of Wolf and it made me furious to think this was the best my son might hope to be.

Oh, and speaking of the ex, ye gods. Yesterday Wolf got several video games, a new wallet and a magazine subscription from us. From the various relatives he got money and gift cards from Game Stop. Mack gave him some cash and a joke book. His father? The ex gave Wolf a tent. A tent. The kid wanted and needed a tent about as much as I want and need a zebra. Wolf doesn't camp. He doesn't hike. He has zero interest in any of that Boy Scout-y crap. He's 15 not 10. Wolf isn't panting to have backyard campouts and make s'mores over a hibachi. But in the lala land where the ex lives Wolf is into exactly the same stupid outdoorsy shit he is. Or thinks he is. Mike never camps or hikes anymore either and hasn't since he was in high school, but if you ask him Mike's under the impression he's Grizzly Adams the Plumber. Sleeping in the car because you're too cheap to get a motel room isn't camping, dumbass.

It's like how at the beginning of Wolf's vacation the ex sloped down to the backdoor and asked what the kid's plans were for the summer and did he want to go somewhere? I told the ex that Wolf was gagging to go to Six Flags- Great Adventure and Dorney Park. Mick and I would be useless at theme parks, we can't go on rides and the heat makes us nauseated. So, Dad of the Year, take your kid to a theme park. Mike listened to this (okay, he stood still while I spoke) and then nodded and said, "Great! When I get some time I'll take him to Philadelphia. The Navy is retiring a battleship and making it a dockside museum. Wolf will love that."

Huh? In what universe would our video game playing, artsy son whose three main reasons for living are drawing, his PlayStation and breasts, in what reality would this kid want to drive three hours to visit a freaking retired battleship? YOU want to see the stupid boat. Wolf wants to go on roller coasters and have dinner at Hooters, you moron.

But that's the ex all over. Clueless, fucking clueless. Last night when Wolf came back into the house with the tent I stood there gaping at the box. A tent? Wolf snorted. "Yeah, I know, Mom. A tent. Well, at least it isn't a telescope." This is another of the ex's delusions, he thinks Wolf is dying to be the next Carl Sagan. Again, the ex likes telescopes. Wolf might be happy with a spyglass if some hot chicks moved into the neighborhood and he had decent line of sight to get in a little innocent voyeurism, but otherwise the boy couldn't care less about telescopes or astronomy. So yeah, Wolf thinks he got off easy with the tent. At least the tent might come in handy later on if he wants to wait in line five days for concert tickets or he joins Occupy Wall St 2.0.

Btw, Mick and I had a come to Jesus about respecting my work time. I promised not to use the sign on my door unless I was really working and not just hiding from him, and he promised to honestly stay out of my hair when the sign is up. Wolf, bless his heart, already knew this. When Mom says she's working there better be blood, death or fire (possibly all three) if he's going to barge into my office. Now Mick understands this too. As to whether the agreement will hold once Mr Busypants truly gets it that he's off for the entire summer and he's run through his make-work bullshit in a week and the boredom sets in, well, it'll be up for grabs, but for now I will be able to blog and work relatively unmolested.

As my buddy Forrest Gump says, "That's good. One less thing."

However, with company in the house, this being Tuesday ie: Errand Day and me needing a shower and to do a load of wash lest I have to run my errands wearing my old lady housecoat I'd best close up shop and get about my biz on the other side of the office door.

Fingers crossed we get to talk again soon. ~LA

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