I am in shock.
I am pissed to the utmost of pissivity (Yes. I made that word up)
Without being too specific in a petty way, here is what happened.
My oldest son has some dietary requirements. My husband and I have been doing fairly well in honoring all requests to his eating when he is here with us. He was with us during the most recent holiday break. During this break, there were two food items given that were not apart of his plan. One food item was given as what I termed an appropriate substitute because it did not contain an ingredient we were trying to steer clear up. The other food item happened entirely by accident. My son knew it was not for him but I was too tired to correct him before he ate it. The food item would not have endangered him critically in any way.
All of this was reported to my son’s mother as requested.
I received a very accusatory email in response to the information I gave her. I can not put into words the FIRE that I felt. I wanted to call and lay her out but I would have been completely out of line. Not because I had no cause but because my goal would have been to verbally cut her up every which way to Sunday for having the audacity to come at me like that! Honestly, I was so taken back by her email that I was speechless. I had so much fire inside that I wanted to unleash but I had no words to put with it because I was still processing it all. I read that email several times because I wanted to see a sign or a hint that what I was reading wasn’t true. No. She couldn’t possibly be accusing me of not working together with her for the benefit of my son. No. She couldn’t possibly be accusing me of being the reason why our son is conflicted between her house rules and my own. No way! Not Anthony’s mom!
Yes way. That is exactly what the email said but, as it was explained later to my husband, it was “merely stating fact and was not meant to be accusatory”. Right.
So, I’m done.
Two, non lethal food items warranted her hurling accusations at me. There was no mention of all of the food substitutions, second dinners that were prepared, special desserts that were made, and overall adjustments to our household that were made for his benefit.
Here is what I learned from this. It’s not like I didn’t already know this truth because I did but it wasn’t until this evening after receiving her email, responding to it, and hearing back from my husband after he spoke with her that I realized I had not applied it to this situation. ALL OF YOUR ACTIONS SHOULD BE DONE FOR THE GLORY OF GOD AND NEVER FOR THE GLORY OF MAN.
I cooked separate dinners, bought certain foods, kept him from eating certain things thereby limiting our intake of it during his stays as well, limited our outside dinning experiences, packed separate food for him, etc all to please my son’s mother. As I look back on it, I have been doing this for nine years; since the first time we kept him until this evening. It was my attempt to keep peace. It was my attempt to let this be a good working relationship. But you can’t really have a good working relationship with someone if the only reason it is considered good and working is that you do everything the other says.
Yes, she is his mother and her right and responsibility is to make decisions regarding her son’s health and well-being. However, my home is my home. We may agree on many things but we are still two separate individuals and we do things differently. The same way my rules do not follow him to his mother’s house is the same way her rules don not follow him to this house. I used to look at myself as an extension of her hand. Tonight I see that I have my own hand. I am a grown woman in my own right with my own thoughts and feelings that will not always agree with hers. The bummer is that she has to share her son with a man and his wife and she can’t dictate all things Anthony while he is in his father’s (and my own) care. It’s a consequence of the sin of fornication that resulted in a child born outside of the marriage covenant.
I am not going to hurt my son or knowingly endanger him. My goal is still to assist in raising him according to the Word of God. I will not completely disregard everything his mother says. (She is his mother and he lives with her. She knows him best. To completely disregard her is stupid.) But I will not perform any act of love or kindness with the intention of pleasing her or to reduce the possibility of a conflict between the two households. I will perform all actions, requests, etc with the heart of being obedient to God’s will and for His glory even if it means saying no to her.