After spending a week in Arizona with Mr. Blue Eyes and his kiddos, we all made our way 1,000+ miles north to the land of cooler temperatures and a more relaxed way of life.
Blue Eyes’ parents live in Big Sky Country, the heart of western Montana, surrounded by miles of ranch land nestled among the Elkhorn Mountains. Due to some work responsibilities I was only able to stay for a long weekend, but I took many naps, finished two books, and went wandering with my camera while the rancher-neighbors cut and baled hay.
The cool mountain air soothed my soul, the sunsets brought me peace, and spending a little time with Blue Eyes’ family and a whole pile of nieces and nephews kept me giggling and laughing all weekend. I caught toads with my nephews and watched baby birds with my nieces and wondered and marveled at the thing that is Evel Knievel Days and braided hair and played games and teased my brother-in-laws and chatted with my sister-in-laws. It was a delightful weekend in every way.
I had hoped to be able to take a few day-trips around the area and do a little photographic exploring, but there just wasn’t time this trip.
Hopefully next summer I can do some more exploring of the small towns and beautiful places of western Montana.
I spent all of last week as the day-time caretaker of my two bonus kids, ages 10 and 12, while Mr. Blue Eyes wrapped up some work projects. I have never really spent a ton of time with them, and never by myself for more than a few hours. Honestly, I was worried about it. I want them to have fun and think I’m fun and I want them to like me and I want to make sure I don’t do/say anything that would be negatively reported back to their mother, giving her yet another reason to despise me.
It went better than I expected, we went swimming almost every day, played a lot of Monopoly and other strategy games, we went bowling, went to one of the trampoline air-gym places, more swimming, made fancy cupcakes, watched a little TV, went out for frozen yogurt, made waffles, etc etc etc. I didn’t lose my temper, I didn’t yell, and I somehow managed to keep my cool during the endless bickering of two tweenagers. (So! Much! Bickering!)
Other items of note:
- The end of swim season was during the time we had the kiddos. I woke up early to take them to practice in the mornings so they’d be ready for their final swim meets. The kids’ Mom did not show up at the state qualifying swim meet OR at the championship meet…instead, she–the Mom–decided to throw herself a birthday party.
- You read that right. She threw a “family” birthday party for herself instead of going to the state championship swim meet to support her daughter. For the record, her child took 5th, 6th, and 12th in her events out of hundreds of participants.
- I found out that my phone number is blocked on the kids’ iPhones. This means that someone (ahem) has gone in to their phones and added my number to some kind of blocked/dangerous list so I cannot text or call them at all. Any guesses on who that might be?
- This weekend the Crazy Mom sent a text message *to the kids’ phones* to “let them know” that she and her husband and their two little girls had spontaneously decided to just go to Disneyland for a week. “Surprise! So fun! We love Disneyland!!” Moo, who is 10, was crushed. She told me she has been begging to go to Disneyland for 2 years and it’s not fair that her Mom decided to go while they are spending a couple of weeks with us. She went on to tell me how much she hates her stepdad because he doesn’t care about her.
- Camo, the 12-year-old, told me how he hates his Mom, how she doesn’t even like him and isn’t nice to him and he can’t wait to move out. This was a calm and rational conversation, he wasn’t upset about anything else, he just offered this as a statement of fact somewhere in-between his preference for Jimmy Johns for lunch and how he found a new strategy to beat us all at Monopoly. He’s only 12!!
I cannot believe the behavior of this woman, I knew she had no qualms about putting her children in the line of fire if it meant she could also hurt Mr. Blue Eyes or me. But this is beyond that. She is actively hurting her children out of…I don’t know, spite? Is she punishing them somehow (“neener neener, we’re at Disneyland and we didn’t want to bring you!”) because they are spending time with their Dad!? What the fuck is wrong with her!? No, but seriously. What. The. Fuck!?