I'll be the first to admit that I'm something of a control freak, especially when it comes to parenting my boys. It's a sad but true fact that absolutely drives Coach nuts. Or rather, I think it maybe did at one time but he's accustomed to it now and just lets it roll right off his back. Regardless, I do try to control just about every decision concerning the boys. Are they in trouble for some real or imagined breaking of the rules? Not if I don't think so. Should they be disciplined for something? Only if you can manage it while I'm not around. Think they should be grounded for some reason known only to you (well, okay, you might have shared that reason with me but since I'm not in agreement I probably didn't hear you)? Ha! Only until I get home and modify the terms.
So do you begin to see why it might be that Coach chooses to simply sit back and let me make all the decisions, and just inform him of the highlights?
It's not a conscious choice, actually, that I make to exclude him. At least, not anymore. In the early years of our marriage, when it was spectacularly craptastic (oh, it was... ask him; he'll agree), I really did make a conscious choice to exclude him from just about everything. We don't have but maybe one or two family pictures taken with all of us, but I've got several of just me and the boys. It was simple; I didn't want to have to cut him out of every picture we had when things eventually went south. Early on, it was a protection mechanism, I think. I made all the choices because I didn't really believe he would be around for long.
Fat lot I knew, huh?
Seventeen years later, and it's become a rather hard habit to break. Which is why I am alternately beyond frustrated and yet really rather pleased to find ourselves in the position of Coach needing to be the parent responsible for getting Bug situated with his new doctor, and navigating the murky waters that comprise a Behavioral Health involvement. Coach is now responsible for *gasp* paying attention to the doctor and *double gasp* reporting back to me just what was discussed. He is the one the doctor looks to for any questions we may have as Bug's parents, or reports of any concerns we come across. This, my friends, is a double-edged sword.
Coach came home yesterday from the first visit with the new "mental health provider" (really, shouldn't we just call them psychiatrists??), only to tell me that she wanted to send Bug for some blood work. She apparently wants to test his blood for levels of some chemical or other. And yes, that is as detailed as Coach was able to get. So imagine my frustration as I sit here wondering just what in blazes she needs to find --or not, as the case may be-- in his blood. In digging a bit more into what was discussed at the visit, we got to the family history part. While Coach told her that he didn't know of any documented instances of anything on his side, he apparently rattled off several on my side. To be fair, I think he said the only person actually diagnosed was myself. But we all know he implied that my entire family should be heavily medicated. It might have been the grin on his face as he was relaying this information to me that tipped me off.
This is not to say that I might not have said the same thing.
On the other hand, as frustrating as all of this uninvolvement is for me, I have been able to separate a bit, sit back, and take a look at what it's doing for Coach and Bug. Coach is more informed, and thus better equipped to interact with his son. He has the potential for a better understanding of why Bug does or says what he does. Coach now has the opportunity to work on his tolerance, acceptance and understanding where his up-to-now incomprehensible son is concerned. These are all very good things. Even better is what I've noticed happening with Bug. In the background while Coach was on the phone with me yesterday telling me about the doctor was Bug, laughing. A lot. Which got his dad laughing. A lot. I am so in love with my son's laugh. There is nothing in this entire world that sounds happier, or is a better balm to my stormy soul than that exact laugh.
And I will do just about anything to hear it more often. Even if it does mean I have to let go and let his dad be in charge sometimes.