Monday, May 3, 2010
This is stuff I really couldn't say anywhere else as it involves my ex husband. Not that I care what HE thinks; I just don't want my son to see this and know that I, too, am thinking all the things he said aloud over the weekend.
Friday night was the "one night only" production of the first of my actor/dancer son's final performances for the school year. "Dancing With the Teachers" was not only a take on TV's "Dancing With the Stars" (the students teach their high school instructors to dance) - it was my son's choreography debut.
He and four classmates had been rehearsing like fiends for the past few months. His English teacher, Mrs. D, was right there with them learning the complicated steps, transitions and jumps. Gentleman that he is, my son even choreographed a solo for Mrs. D so she could be rightfully featured (she's only 28, very young looking and has only been teaching at the school for a year so not everyone knows she's actually a teacher). They danced to the Ting Tings' "That's Not My Name" - a pop song with an infectious beat. The song was remixed and shorter than the original version, but I'm sure I spent the entire three minutes + of the performance with my mouth open in amazement. Yes, it was that good!
At first I thought I was a little biased, but the applause said otherwise. Lots of folks came over to me as I was leaving the auditorium to tell me how great a dancer my boy is. Of course I had to tell him that he choreographed the routine as well. It was hard for me not to smile as sincere praise flowed from their lips. OMG - they saw it, too!
Pity that his dad wasn't there to see it. When my son spoke with his father the day before, dad assured him that the entire family - dad, step-mom, step-sister and younger brothers - would make it down from Monticello (a measly 40 minutes away) for the show. A few hours before the curtain rose, his step-sister texted him to say they wouldn't make it because - get this - my ex thought it was "too long a trip JUST to see my son move across the stage for a few minutes." Yeah - according to her, the chucklehead I use to be married to actually said that. Even worse, he didn't have the decency to call my son and tell him they weren't going to make it - the text was how he found out. But wait - it gets better...
Yesterday, my ex called - not to apologize for missing the show, but to complain that my son is "so busy" that he can't seem to make it to Monticello for any of the events and activities they host during the summer - including a July family cookout (my son has gone to a martial arts camp the second week of July for the past five years which is when they break out the grill) and a joint birthday party for him and his two half-brothers at the end of August (when we are in Lake George as the last summer celebration before school starts again; been going since before the youngest half-sibling was even born). "Well, I'm just going to stop inviting you for things then, because you can't ever come anyway," his dad said. No joke.
This conversation took place when my son was in his room. He came out, promptly declared that his father was a "total idiot" and disappeared into the bathroom. I'm guessing he went in there to wipe away the tears.
After he calmed down a bit, he told me that he doesn't get how his dad seemingly has no idea that his son is a 16-yr-old junior in high school with a life and loads of activities. In the four years since dad moved to Monticello, he's missed lots of important things, like karate black belt promotions last May and all but one piano recital/performance. My son got bitten by the acting/dance bug as a freshman and his father has only made one play (last year's final project for his drama class). In 2009, he laid eyes on his dad all of three times. My son did spend his spring break with his father this year, but he later told me he knew he probably wouldn't see him again until at least the summer - if then. There's another play next Friday and, although he mentioned the time and place to dad last week, my son is kinda doubtful that father will bother to show. Unfortunately, this has become the norm he's come to expect.
I, of course, am seething. It's not even that I think his dad should channel me and be at every play, concert, karate event or track meet, but ONE would be nice. He's missing some pretty important events in the life of his kid - things he will never be able to re-do. In 16 short months, his child will be heading off to somebody's institution of higher education - and there's no guarantee that it will be on this coast or even in this state. Is dad's plan to wait until the boy can drive to him before he attempts to establish a relationship or what?!?
I can't really say all that to my child, though - but I will say this: my ex better start praying for a sunny graduation day for the class of 2011 post haste. Not sure if he knows it (nor do I care), but if it rains and the event is postponed to the following day, it will be moved indoors and each graduate will only get two tickets for family. Call me evil, but dad is not on the short list - and no, I don't feel guilty about that in the least. My son will only be on stage to get his diploma for a few seconds so, afterall...
I almost feel sorry for the poor schmuck because he has absolutely no idea what a great kid he's missing. Almost...