I found this picture of a St. Brighid's cross that I have actually seen in person (or one of its incarnations--you are supposed to make a new one every year), at her cathedral in Kildare. I put it here to remind me that I need to rely on my spirituality sometimes, even if I don't have any real "faith" in anything. My hope is that by reminding myself of the generations of women who came before me--tending their hearths, working their magick, and caring for their families--I will be able to get through challenges with grace, courage and integrity.
Last night I sort of forced RM to sit down with me and tell the children that he and I are friends and nothing more than that, and that EM and I are the ones with the emotional attachment. I can tell you that there is not much more that causes a mother pain than to see her own children hurt. And they get along way better with RM than I do--cope much better with his nagging, belittling and need to be superior than I ever could. And I know the Younger Boy has bonded with him a lot. I let that happen. Even though I knew from very early on that RM would not be with me permanently (I'd been trying to hold on until the kids were in college, then I could go somewhere and be alone).
The kids had no questions. The Older Boy was really quiet. He then went up to his room and played Final Fantasy the rest of the night. The Younger Boy got weepy but perked up, and when EM came over later (we got him the cable he needed for his video camera), he talked to us some. We did reassure the boys that RM will be a part of our life and not disappear. And that is true. He is now a good friend, with all the pressures gone and with his new calmer attitude.
I know it will take time. Everyone has to adjust to the "new normal." It will take a while to get to know each other and figure out how we will all relate. I am sorry to have disrupted the family like this. But, it is one of those consequences that EM said we would have to face when we decided that the most important thing for us is to be together. And it is the most important thing--it is a chance at life, happiness and love. And with the right attitude, it can lead to a happier family.