I got an awesome “out of the blue” phone call from my daughter last night. It wasn’t anything more than a quick “Hi, how are you doing?” type of phone call. The type of phone call that I never would have had just three short years ago…when this post was originally written.
Y’see, my life has obviously changed dramatically over the past three years. Along with the relationship change is the improved relationship I’ve developed with my daughter, which makes me one happy father. In fact, she and I have even discussed her staying with this new blended family the entire summer in 2013! So here is a glimpse of just how incredibly far my relationship with my daughter (and, in turn, Sunshine’s relationship with my daughter) has come.
It’s one more reason why I know I’ve made the right decision to move here with her…
My daughter called me a couple of times yesterday to wish me a happy birthday. The conversations had been jovial and fun-spirited. In fact, her mom called me to say that The Rugrat had just gotten her first zit…on her nose…as a way to kinda embarass Rugrat a bit (in a fun way). So with the pleasantries going on, I thought it would be safe to discuss my relationship with Sunshine.
Y’see, I’ve never introduced anyone other than The Ex to Rugrat…I’ve always told myself that I didn’t want my kids to see adult relationships come and go as they got older. So the girlfriends I had before The Ex were never introduced to Rugrat.
Sunshine, obviously, is different.
Rugrat is expected to spend Christmas with me, so I thought telling her now would help prepare her for the meeting. I mean, Sunshine is going to be a staple in my life for a very long time so I thought it only made sense that Rugrat found out about her.
In fact, Rugrat’s mom had known about my relationship for months now (we’re casual friends on Facebook), but didn’t want to tell her because it wasn’t her place to do so. I respect that decision and I’m glad that I could be the one to tell her.
Well…I was glad, anyway.
I told Rugrat that I had a new girlfriend. She immediately got quiet. She then began to cry. I didn’t immediately understand why she was so upset.
“What about The Ex?”
“Honey, we’ve been apart for two and a half years.”
“But why? I didn’t know it was two and a half years.”
“Rugrat, we told you when it happened. You’ve flown down to visit me at least four times since and you’ve known all along that The Ex and I weren’t together anymore.”
“Is she still my stepmom?”
“Yes, baby. She’ll always be your stepmom and she’ll always love you. But I can’t be alone forever.”
“I don’t care. I’m only going to like The Ex. I’m not gonna like your new girlfriend.“
“Rugrat…what if The Ex is dating someone, too?”
“Then I won’t like her boyfriend, either.”
“Sweetie…you’re allowed to like everybody. You don’t have to choose. You can like both people.”
“No. I only like The Ex. I never even get to see her anymore. The last time I came to visit I only got to see her once and spent the rest of my time with you.”
“That’s because I’m your father, honey.”
The phone was then passed along to her mom, who inquired as to why Rugrat was so upset. I explained the conversation to her and then realized that maybe I didn’t approach things in the most tactful way.
“No…I don’t think she’s mad at you or the girlfriend. Two of her friends are moving away and she’s all upset and worried about this pimple. That might be what’s really bothering her.”
“I just don’t understand why she’s so upset now about The Ex. It’s not like she calls her or ever asks about her (she doesn’t). And we told her when it happened what was going on.”
“CBG, after you told her on the phone about the separation I ended up talking to her about things with her stepdad. Everything appeared to be fine and she said that she understood. I really think she’s upset about something else. Let me talk to her and I’ll get back to you.”
“Thanks. I really appreciate that.”
And that was last night. I was immediately shaken-up about the whole conversation. I really didn’t expect that reaction. I guess I understand it…she was pretty close to The Ex and does visit with her every time she visits. But I really just thought 2 1/2 years was enough time to pass by before introducing someone new in my life. I really didn’t think she’d be so closed to the thought of either myself or The Ex dating somebody new. It’s just something that never came up in our conversations.
So now I’m in an awkward state. I’m not sure what to say next to her. I’m not sure how to approach things…especially over the phone.
I’m just not sure what to do.