The chicks are back in the nest.

My nerves are finally starting to settle, but it didn’t happen until late yesterday evening.  I’m staying on my toes, though, since we all know that my roller coaster could gain momentum at any moment.

Super Dad ended up buying tickets to the Texas A&M vs Alabama game, so the kids were excited that they weren’t just driving three hours to tailgate and watch the game on tvs outside the stadium.  Since they were leaving at the buttcrack of dawn (The Ex can’t miss a moment of drinking time, I mean tailgating time), they decided to spend Friday night at his house.  No, go ahead and turn the knife one more time, so it’s good and snug.  They came by the house to pick out the perfect outfits, even though MonoBoy said that they would probably buy new stuff when they got there.  Of course, they would.  They were both excited and getting along.

I was surprising calm on Saturday despite the fact that the boys would be trapped in a car with a drinking man who LOVES to bash me, and who knows what would be said.  I went to my friend’s daughter’s soccer game, then went to another friend’s house to watch the game and a movie afterward.  (“Poltergeist” is highly recommended to take your mind off of your own problems.  Now those people had some problems.  I mean, their house was infested with creepy clowns.)  I did, however, constantly scan the crowd of 105,000 people to see if I could catch a glimpse of my two little Aggie fans.

I was going to go to a Octoberfest in the Park event with my mom and sister afterward, but after screaming at the tv over multiple interceptions, I decided that a beer tasting event was NOT the best plan.  I settled onto the couch to catch up on Scandal while I nervously waited to see if my boys would come home.  [Pauses DVR] Was that a car door?  [Strains to listen] I guess not.  The dog didn’t move.

By the time LoverBoy walked through the door, I was watching through my eyelids.  He walked by without saying a word.  Uh-oh.  I asked him what was wrong, and he said that he was worried about how to pay for it.  “College?” I stupidly asked.  “No, the other $24,000 endeavor I’ll be embarking on next year.”

You know, you want to raise intelligent children, but when they are old enough to use it against you, you start to rethink that and wish that you hadn’t read “Goodnight Gorilla” those thousands of times to him when he was a toddler.

LoverBoy has been so stressed out about the cost of tuition.  It started the day that his dad came over to discuss on campus living vs off campus living.  He knows that student loans will be in his future because his parents got a divorce and his dad lost his mind and there’s only so much that a single mom can accomplish.  This known fact has caused more anxiety than you can imagine.  He has a binder of printing out scholarships arranged by monthly tabs so that he can keep track of deadlines.  He’s written more essays than he did his entire three plus years in high school combined.  He has been searching for part-time employment to try to save money.  Although I appreciate his ambition, I hate that it’s stealing his joy.

It’s partially why I was happy for him to make this trip over the weekend.  I wanted him to be there again and remember all of the things that he has to look forward to.  I just didn’t think it through that he was going with The Ex, and that in itself can be a joy stealer.

I told him once again that he didn’t need to worry about it so much and that I was going to do everything that I can to reduce his burden.  “Plus,” I said ever so earnestly, “your dad said that he’s going to pitch in.”  I know, right?  I didn’t even crack a smile when I said it.  I decided to jump on LoverBoy’s dad’s-gonna-pay bandwagon.  Apparently, LoverBoy jumped off the wagon, however.

“No he’s not.  He’s going to spend his money on stupid stuff.  All he talks about is buying season tickets and getting a trailer for tailgating.  He only cares about having fun at football games.  He won’t have any money for tuition.  He’s going to blow it all.”

(Oh, so you’ve met him.)

I asked if he had talked to his dad about some of this anxiety.  “Every time I bring it up, he talks about scholarships as if they are a done deal.  Like someone is going to just hand them to me as if it’s nothing.”  (Seriously, he does think that.  He also thinks that MonoBoy is a shoe-in for admission.)  I was at a loss, standing there and searching for the right words.

“So how much more child support did you get?”

Oh crap, what did he just ask?  How in the heck did he know that?  Oh yeah, three hours in a car with the man who hates me more than Satan.

“Not much,” was all I could think to say.  He doesn’t need to know anything about it at all, let alone how much.

“Will it benefit me in any way?”

Are you kidding me?  Every cent that I get goes to benefit you and your brother.  Have you seen the car I drive?  Do you know when the last time I saw the dentist was?

Is what I wanted to say.  Instead I said, “Yes, the additional child support is going into savings for college.”

Needless to say, I slept none that night.  I wondered what conversation had been had.  I wondered what his thoughts about it.  I wondered if MonoBoy was buying it and if that’s why he didn’t come home with him.  I wondered how I would survive knowing that I have let my child down by not having enough saved for four years of college.

I finally pulled myself out of bed the next morning and went for a walk to try to clear my head.  When I got back, he was up and on the couch watching soccer.  I made him breakfast while he got ready for work.  It was going to be his first day of part-time employment at the facility I work at.  What if he hates it?  What if it’s just one more thing that he blames me for?

I decided to throw myself into some work for the day.  I’ve picked up a side job for extra money, you know, for college.  It helped to pass the time and distract me from my fears.  When he got home, he was in a great mood.  He loved the job.  Whew!

We watched the end of the soccer game together, then as we were watching Sports Center to catch up on the NFL games, MonoBoy walked in.  All of my chicks were in the nest and everyone seemed to be in decent spirits, so I could finally breathe a sigh of relief.




  1. I think they may be catching on to what an asshat their dad is. and, believe me in this, someday—SOMEDAY–they will realize just how much their Mother went without to help them. Worked so hard to help them. Didn’t down talk their dad, like she wanted, to help them. SOMEDAY–I just hope the stress of life doesn’t kill you before you hear the words.

  2. personally I think I would calmly sit them down and explain how the finances are and how they got where they are and all you do to try and save money (car/dental/etc) – that’s not bashing thosee are the facts and he is old enough to comprehend them now

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