It was a text out of the blue…and one that was completely unexpected:
“I was wondering, by any chance, if I could move down there…would I be able to?”
Yeah…she asked me THAT.
Without going into a ton of detail, it turns out that my daughter (i.e. Rugrat) isn’t getting along with her step dad right now. From what I can gather it’s not an abusive relationship of any kind…it’s just that they’re not getting along.
Now I can totally understand what she’s going through because my oldest daughter (i.e. the one who I just met last year for the first time and I haven’t given a nickname to yet) does not get along with her step dad at all, either. I see the unhappiness on her face when she talks about him. I can see her rolling her eyes when she discusses their relationship.
So yeah…I think I get it.
My first inclination was to leap into action as “Super Dad” and tell her that I’d fly her down right now and buy a new house that could fit everybody and be the dad I always wanted to be.
But alas, that wasn’t what I did.
No, I held down those feelings of “I need to protect my daughter” because I realize that she’s a teenager. Not every teenager gets along with their parents or step-parents. Heck…not every teenager has the option of contacting a divorced parent to see if they can move in with them. So because she is a teenager and she is known to be “angsty” from time to time, I tried to figure out more details on what the issues were and if they were fixable.
I then suggested that she speak to her mom before making any rash decisions. Her mom is a good person (and for the record, I think her husband is a good person at heart, too). She loves her daughter very much and would be devastated knowing that her oldest wanted to move away. Because of this, some serious discussions need to be had between the two of them.
I mean, I would certainly want to know if one of my kids were THAT unhappy. This, of course, if the complete opposite of what my dad was like (you NEVER let your feelings out into the open), but I think that’s the way to help bridge gaps and mend wounds. If Rugrat and her mom have a discussion about her disdain for her stepfather…and nothing can be done to remedy the situation…then her mom has the right to know how our daughter is feeling and then the two of US can decide what’s best for her.
As it stands, I think this is just a “teenage angst” situation. Will it pass? I don’t know…but I know that as long as I’m open and honest with her, the two of us will remain tight. And right now, that’s the most important thing to me.