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11.28.2010

Great Expectations

I think things are getting better for Buddy. He’s had a rough ride the past few years for a whole host of reasons and moving in here with the boys wasn’t easy on him, either. I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts how he's had trouble coping with schedules, keeping up with the kids, chores, and being a overwhelmed with parenthood. When they first moved in Tish and I took charge of the kids because their relationship with Buddy was out of control. They refused to do anything he said without a fight and his day’s off with them were a holy war, on steroids. Doc whined and groveled, Kit kicked and screamed, and Tio swore a blue streak of obstinacy. Cut to eleven months later and the kids have settled down considerably. They know the routine, know what is expected each day and as a result treat each other better and treat him better as well. He gets home in time to put Doc to bed as often as he can and Kit isn’t always picking a fight with him.

I think the kids started easing up before he came around to adapting himself. It’s been as tough on him as it was on them except that as an adult, he’s expected to cope and ‘make it work’ all on his own, which is never easy when you’re up to your nose in water and have only ever expected things to get worse all your life. But with everything going more smoothly, he’s adjusting his routine to better fit this life, his expectations of himself and the kids and us, and he’s starting more to feel a part of what’s going on. He contributes more time to the house and I think he’s even sleeping better - which says a lot for an insomniac.

For the first few months he felt like he was on the outside looking in. The world changed so fast last January. Tish and I took on the lion’s share of parenting while he tried to land on his feet and for a while he wondered if he was being pushed out. Not a chance. We want him participating as fully as he can manage. This whole big experiment will only succeed if all three adults share the load and it looks like that might happen. He’s Dad, after all, and that’s a central role in the boy’s lives, no matter how bumpy the relationships are.

Here’s hoping that life for Buddy can be a thing to look forward to day by day instead of just one trauma after another filled with constant disappointment. That would be a great Christmas gift to send him into the new year with.