As time has gone on, I've done my share of keeping photos around him and telling him fun stories whenever he'd ask about his dad. Last year I allowed a few phone calls on birthdays and holidays and I watched how Chunks handled it all and how the Wasband behaved, too. So far he's ok, he can speak to his dad whenever he wants and for now that works.
On Saturday we went back to swimming lessons through which Chunks screamed and shivered, LOUDLY. THE ENTIRE TIME! smh did I mention my guy is a scaredy cat?? When the class was over I took him to the family pool so we could get used to the water one on one and he remembered a pic of his dad swimming in Puerto Rico and said "Will I swim like my dad?" I jumped on the opportunity and said "You've got to try to get it".
Lesson #1, Dad is always a superhero and mom's gotta be ok with that.
On the way home, he asked to speak to his dad, so I called. They spoke for a little while, the Wasband told him he'd like to see him swim soon (he hasn't seen Chunks since he was 1). After this call, Chunks is willing to go back to class next weekend.
Lesson #2, A dad's voice can get a message through that all of mom's trying just cannot ::shrug:: and mom's gotta be ok with that.
Later that evening, the Wasband thanked me for letting Chunks call, he said it meant a lot to him.
Lesson #3, Making it difficult for a Father to speak to his child is petty (if doesn't mean any harm) and since men hate confrontation, sometimes Mom has to open the lines so everyone knows it's ok.
Since this, we've discussed him coming up to see Chunks one weekend. I haven't told Chunks, just in case, but I'm also planning the day out to make sure everything is ok. Opening the lines to my son is a big deal to me and ANYONE, including his Father, meaning him harm will have a problem! But I'm open for a few reasons: Chunks is pretty balanced and isn't coming for a place of "need" or "missing out" when it comes to his dad it's kind of a "fun relative" mindset (sad, but whatever works). Secondly, because I made it a point NOT to speak badly about his dad, Chunks has no bias so while I'll be watching like a hawk and side-eyeing I'm sure, all with a smile lol, he won't know why-it's just mom being mom. Third, at the end of it all I want to know and Chunks to know, I did everything in my power to make him whole with his other parent. We have a great relationship so him having the same (or kinda close to it) with his other parent is only right, right?
Lesson #4, there's a place for dad. Them having a bond, has nothing to do with our relationship so there's no competition.
I honestly don't think this would be possible if I hadn't made peace with the relationship and owned my part in it all, I have a few friends who are having a hard time letting their children's father have their place in the child's lives because they're still mad about the relationship, even men who didn't just walk out and disappear, and it's sad but everyone has their own journey. My plan for motherhood is to release a whole man into the world for a woman to love with as little childhood baggage as possible.
Dear Daughter In Law,
I'm thinking of you.