I have never written about my step son...let's call him Nolan. I have not written about Nolan becasue....well.....I have not had much of anything to say that was not a complaint. There, I said it. I know, it sounds awful and it probably is awful but there it is. Society has different standards when it comes to step-parents. Parents can say, "Man, my kid is driving me crazy", but if a step-parent says the same thing it sounds really mean and nasty. Try it, "Man my step-kid is driving me crazy." See? Mean.
He came to live with us when he was 14 and was with us full-time until he graduated high school (Well...he didn't actually "graduate"). Being a custodial step-mother of a teenager is more difficult than you can imagine. I don't recommend it. Seriously, step-parenting is hard to begin with but teenagers are just a whole other ball of wax. I remember myself as a teenager and I can't imagine my parents liking me very much for a few years either and they raised me with their values and expectations of behavior. So having a 14 year old teenager who has had a difficult life dropped into your newlywed lap ain't no picnic...for anyone.
Nolan is the type of kid (and now young adult) with lots of "issues" only they are not the typical "teenager" issues one expects, are developmentally normal and that they usually grow out of. No, Nolan has some very deep-seeded character issues that I fear will negatively impact his entire life.
On my 2nd date with Mr. Peeveme he told me he had a 9 year-old son. Nolan was supposedly an oops baby. His mother and Mr. Peeveme dated for 6 months in College. The plan was to graduate and go their separate ways..but she "accidentally" got pregnant. I swear I am not being a bitchy person when I accuse her of doing it on purpose. My evidence? She was charting to prevent pregnancy. Who does that? Nobody. I have charted and there is no way a women does that to avoid pregnancy. She also went on some huge "body cleans" 2 months before she got pregnant. Stopped drinking, caffeine, ect. Accident my ass.
Mr. Peeveme and Nolan's mom tried to make it work but, of course, it didn't. Much like Nolan, she lies habitually. If you meet her in person she seems like the nicest, most gracious, most interesting person...much like Nolan. And she is all those things....like Nolan. But she's lies, uses people, never plans, thinks the rules don't apply to her and does whatever she damn well-feels like doing no matter what the consequences are to her or other people and never takes responsibility....just like Nolan. A nice word to describe her would be a "free spirit". Thankfully she and I have not had much interaction and the times we have interacted she has been nothing but lovely and I, lovely right back.
Nolan was about 3 when they split for good after much going back and forth. When Nolan was 5 his mom found a new man and moved across the county (the first of many many, many new men/home situations for Nolan). We are not talking about a mom who does drugs, beats him ect. No real "abuse" as a court would define it but it certainly was not a stable home. Noland had a destructive combination of spoiling and neglect. One day they were best friends (I do not think parents should be their kid's friend. Kids need parents...not friends)...next she was off on another adventure (usually because she had a new boyfriend) and Nolan was left alone a lot.
Nolan lived on the other side of the country so we didn't see him much so it wasn't a part of everyday life. Six weeks in the summer...alternate x-mases, a week in Spring. Mr. Peeveme and I didn't live together so even when Nolan was here I was only sporadically around him but I knew from the start that the kid had problems.
He always embellishes. Nothing is ever his fault. Nothing is ever the complete truth even when there was no incentive to lie. He's arrogant beyond belief. When I first met him he was failing the 6th grade and his reasoning was that his teacher was jealous of him becasue he was smarter than her. A notion not discouraged by his mother. My mother would have slapped my smart-ass mouth if I ever dared to be that disrespectful and delusional. ...even Mr. Peeveme was buying into it until I explained he was not doing Nolan any favors by letting him think/talk that way.
By the time Nolan was 13 he had moved 14 times. His mother would get a new job...get canned after 6-12 months then have to move. She'd get a new boyfriend...move in....18 months later he'd get sick of her crap and kicked her out. Many times Nolan moved mid-year to a new school.
A few months after Mr. Peeveme and I got married Nolan's mom met a new man and wanted to move in with him. Only they'd have to move to a different city where all the public schools were very bad. They thought they'd just get Nolan into some fancy East Cost private school...never mind that his grades were very poor and nobody could afford the 30K per year tuition. No matter....he'd just get a scholarship. Yea, realistic indeed. Well, surprise, he didn't get into any school let alone get a scholarship.
So 3 weeks before our California public schools started he moved in with us. We live in a wonderful community with fantastic schools. And no, it's not an accident. We PLANNED it that way for when we had kids (pre-infertility days).
And so, I become the custodial step-mom of a teenager. Also, since Mr. Peeveme traveled I become the primary care-giver much of the time.
Next post...the teen years.