Friday, The Boy came home telling everyone he was going to miss school Monday because he was going to visit his dad. There were shared looks all around, between us adults in The Boy’s life, because we wondered where this was coming from, and how best to let him know that this was not happening.
I took the lead and explained that no, he was going to his last half-day of school on Monday, and then Grammy was taking him to lunch. If he wanted to call his dad to discuss a summer trip up to his place, he could do so, but as of right now we have no plans.
This took a few repetitions from all of us. Then he decided that Grammy would take him to Myrtle Beach on Tuesday… Wha?? Again, we explained that a trip like that takes some planning and no little amount of money.
“How much?” he asked.
“At least $200,” The Man replied.
“I’ll have to find a way to make some money…” The Boy said.
We’re still not sure if it was conversations with other kids at school who were either going on vacation, or visiting their own dads in other places, or something else entirely that triggered this fantasy-plan. It may just have been the strong association he has that summer break equals a trip to dad’s, even though it didn’t happen at all last year.
He’s reluctant to call him, at any rate. And I doubt any plan would come to fruition, anyway. The ex has been more and more absentee the past few years, and I don’t see that trend changing as The Boy gets older, and possibly harder to relate to. I suspect the ex is dealing with his own unemployment and demons right now, anyway, if the absence of child support means anything.
Monday came, and a meltdown ensued at school, which necessitated a pickup by Grammy, and a very rocky afternoon when the Boy realized he was done for the year and couldn’t go back. Eventually, an ice cream sandwich and a trip to McDonald’s for lunch helped him turn the corner. Was it the bus being late to pick him up that morning? Was it the fact that many of his friends were not there that day? Or was it the fact that his plans were not turning out like he’d hoped, and he finally understood that he was not going to his dad’s? I’ll never know.
Usually these fantasies indicate something he really wants to do, but this one is just not in my power. Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk him through and out of this idea into what our real summer plans include. I hope it’s enough for him.
Whew, I wish I could read my Andrew’s mind. So much going on that he can’t communicate to me! End of school is difficult!
My kids are older, and make the same announcements of unplanned plans. Not about their dad, but taking a 15 hour road trip to get her favorite chicken. Flying to another coast, etc. Many of my kids’ classmates have true elaborate travel plans, so it becomes an expectation — skipping the last day to catch a flight. We’ll do some things, but I’m not trying to keep up with the Joneses — or Rockefellers.