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Shouldn't the children come first?

Today I slept, took a trip to the doctor and then stayed completely walled off for the evening wishing the damn painkillers would have some effect. All the while, Tish spent the whole day doing load after load of laundry and cleaning house. I owe her big time for that.

When I finally managed to get down the stairs late this evening, Buddy tells me that Debbie, the ever responsible mother to his children, has just quit her job and moved back in with her parents. You see, child welfare just caught up with her employer and would have started garnering her wages for child support this week so, rather than pitch in to help her kids out, she quit her job. I'm sure she has a million other excuses why, people like her always do, as long as the responsibility doesn't land on her. I imagine she's got it figured that helping the kids means helping Buddy, or us, and she can't stand the thought of that. She'd prefer to be a deadbeat mom and live off her folks than stoop so low.

Isn't it always the way with some people. They work so hard at looking after themselves at a huge cost to everyone around them. They find excuse after excuse to lay blame to make themselves a victim. Meanwhile, others, without thought or concern about their own needs, put themselves out to look after those around them. At what point in life do we separate into one or the other camp? Is it ordained by birth or learned? Can it be unlearned and what would it take for one so self-centered to see that the world really doesn't revolve around them all day and night?

I'm not surprised that Debbie's job ended this week. I imagine it will be a long time before her children see a penny from her, or anything else for that matter. I wonder, in the end, after time and water has gushed under the proverbial bridge, who will get the blame for the estranged relationships she reaps? She can blame me and Buddy and Tish and even the boys themselves. But will laying blame ever undo the damage she causes or the bitterness she sows?

It's never too late to change... until it is.