You want to know something.
I haven’t told the boys about my sister and niece yet. I know it’s been over two years. I should have said something to them sooner, I know, but I was hoping things wouldn’t be this way. For a long time I refused to believe these people were the same people. I was hoping they would go back to the way they used to be. Now I know it won’t. Now I know what I thought it was, was not really what I thought it was.
When I have had to explain to them about not getting invited to sleep over, or go rock climbing, or go to laser tag, or get invited to great wolf lodge, or just come over and hang out; I explained all of that without ever telling them their aunt and niece no longer want to have the relationship they used to have with us. I explained to them they had done nothing wrong. It was not their fault they were not being included in things. I tried really hard for them to understand that the dynamic has changed without telling how or why the dynamic has changed.
It’s been hard. I am trying to keep things as normal as possible for them. And when all else fails, I try to distract them. Most times it works. Sometimes, it doesn’t. My boys have seen me cry. My boys know how stressed I am. My boys have heard me yell. My boys have been the recipients of my emotional outbursts. My boys know something is wrong. They know things have changed but they still don’t accept things have changed. My boys will still go to the store and pick up things in multiples of three. They still include my niece when they pick out treats or get dinky toys or come up with adventures we should go on. And the thing is, we still include my niece. If there is an adventure going on, we will still ask if she wants to be a part of it, she is counted when they make valentines cards, she is part of all of their decisions. My niece is still the first person the boys add to their invite list for things that are important to them. I know this behaviour isn’t being reciprocated by the other people and trying to get them to understand that things have changed but it’s been hard.
I haven’t told the boys yet that once my sister and niece left, the boys fell off their radar. Once the boys weren’t in their direct vicinity anymore, they were forgotten. In the hierarchy of relevancy to their lives, the boys dropped to the bottom of the list. And now it is up to me to break that to my boys.
How can I do that? What do I say?
So I am going to tell them the truth. I am going to tell them to stop expecting things to be the way they were. I am going to let them know they are wonderful, caring, smart fellas who are loved a lot by MIllhouse and I. I will let them know, no matter what we will always be there for them. And then I am going to let them know the difference between genuine love and being used for convenience.
It will be the hardest conversation I will have to have with my boys to date. And one I never in a million years would have thought I would need to have with them.