Saturday, September 13, 2008

Meow

Ok, I know that I promised and promised to give you a rundown on Cougar Woman, who from now on, I'll just call Kitty.

Thanks for the idea and supportive comments! I like the name, and it fits!

Essentially, Hubby and I have decided that we're just going to go with the flow. I've written countless times about Big Kid and his quest to find companionship and how lonely he's been. You know how we've tried to find social skills groups or workshops to help with this over the last couple of years and come up dry.

He simply doesn't have, or hasn't been able to develop the skills to make and maintain meaningful relationships with females of his own age range. He doesn't "get" the "dance". He is unable to play the "game". He is COMPLETELY unable to interpret the multiple nuances involved with basic dating.

In other words, for example, if his girl asked, "Does my butt look big in these jeans?", he'd honestly say, "Your butt is absolutely enormous no matter what you wear. Are jeans supposed to make a difference?"

After that he won't get the chance to articulate that he adores her big butt and that's one of the things he likes most about her. At that point, he's been kicked to the curb. And has no idea why.

Kitty started growing on me awhile ago. Big Kid took a call from her in my office last month, and either she shouts on the phone or the volume was turned up high, but I could hear both sides.

Of course, I listened in shamelessly while pretending to play Spider Solitaire.

She asked him how his day was going. Asked him how his new meds were working and how he was feeling. Shared with him what she was doing that day. Asked him if he had ideas about what they might like to do/go/see on their next day together (which was in like two days).

No drama. No needy "me me me tell me how important/beautiful/special I am and how you can't live without me" or "I'm going to see a former boyfriend who might be better to ME so I can see how jellus it will make you" bullcrap. She really cares about him and what he's doing/feeling, just the way grown-ups do in a mature relationship.

Then she said, "You know, I've paid for our last couple of outings, and now it's your turn."

He said, "Well, I owe my mom a lot of money."

She said, "How much?"

He turned to me. "Mom, how much money do I owe you?"

18 dollars left from the last date with Kitty that you borrowed from us. 60 dollars from that concert you went to a couple of months ago. 80 dollars from all that crap you broke last week when you had your temper tantrum. But I'm willing to pay 50/50----50 percent towards your bill and 50 percent in cash to spend because we have a lot of stuff that needs to be done right away (had a pool party coming up).

Kitty said to him, "Sounds like you owe your folks a lot of money." No judgement. No, "Boy your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins to get in the way of young love!"

Glumly, Big Kid replied, "They want me to pull weeds to earn it off." Hoping for a little "your parents are harsh and unfeeling cretins" sympathy support.

"Well it's a beautiful day outside. You better get cracking!"

Bless her heart.

Kitty was with her husband shortly out of high school and they were together for 26 years. They had a child who died of a congenital heart defect. Her husband was ill for the last 5 or so years of his life and they moved in with his elderly mother. Thinking he would get better and back to work, they filed for bankruptcy before the real medical bills started rolling in. She was the sole provider and caregiver for both of them, and has been working 2 jobs (one full, one part-time) to try to cover the remaining debt. Her mother-in-law has no other family (she's in her 80's), so Kitty continues to live with and care for her.

I don't know exactly what Kitty is getting out of this relationship. Before I met her, I had visions of some predatory old broad with a crepey neck looking for some mindless cabana boy ala Mad TV's Dixie Wentworth.

Kitty isn't like that at all. More like a throwback hippie-chick with the same kind of "live and let live" attitude from the era. She doesn't drink or do drugs. Maybe she feels like she wasted a lot of her life taking care of old sick people, and is looking to catch up on some of what she missed, but still has the need to nurture.

Like I said, I don't know.

All I know for sure is that she and Big Kid speak the same language, like the same music, movies and books. He's at ease with her, treats her respectfully, doesn't need a translator to figure out the "girl-speak" because she's absolutely direct in communicating, and she encourages but doesn't enable him.

Her parents don't approve and don't want to meet Big Kid at all. My own mother is quite shocked by it as well. And yeah, I'm not entirely comfortable with any of this, which is something Kitty and I have talked about and agree that this will have to continue to be a work in progress.


If she won't enthusiastically introduce herself as Big Kid's girlfriend to people like the leasing agents at the apartment complex while in my presence, then I won't visibly cringe when they suddenly realize she isn't joking.

I just know that I want my son to be happy, and I don't want to lose him. If we were totally closed off, as her parents are, he would absolutely take this as some dramatic "Romeo and Juliet" thing, because that's the way his mind works. I'm going to take the attitude that if it lasts, it lasts. If it doesn't, it doesn't.

If the world ended tomorrow, I would want my son to be able to say that he loved someone and was loved back. It's not up to me or anybody else to set the parameters of what is acceptable, as long as it's legal in at least 48 states (not talking about the other two where the men are bold and the sheep are scared).

What I like most about Kitty?

She's kind. She's a truly kind person.

After all the tough breaks he's been handed, kindness is something Big Kid needs.

So for right now, we're just going to roll with it.

30 comments:

Beth said...

It sounds like a relationship that has come at a perfect time in his life. Two kindred souls - despite the age difference.
I'm so glad the Big Kid has found love.
So, yeah, "rolling with it" seems to be the best thing to do.
Best wishes to all.

Ashley's Mom said...

I applaud you openness and willingness to roll with this. It would definitely give me pause were I in your position, and if I ever am (I have two teenage sons), you will be my example!

Brenda said...

You have the heart of a true Momma!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I was going to say what Brenda did. You have a good heart.

marymurtz said...

That last part made me weepy. Bless you for allowing him happiness and independence. It's more than most moms can manage in similar situations. Kitty sounds like a godsend and your approach is very smart. If it lasts, it lasts.

Pete said...

could be good for him...

mrsb said...

Bravo! I'm really happy this is working for Big Kid. If it lasts for a while, great. If it doesn't, at least he's had some experience that might help out in future relationships.

As for what Kitty (can I say I just love this name, lol?) is getting out of it, well, I bet it's the same thing Big Kid is: a simple relationship, with no games, no B.S., just straight honesty, kindness and a chance to have some fun for a while. Nothing wrong with that on either side.

I'm just thrilled that he's getting a chance at a real relationship with someone mature enough to handle his issues and still see him for who he is outside of those issues.

I hope my own son gets that same chance when he's old enough for it, and I hope I am able to deal with his choices as well as you've done!

Kim Ayres said...

The best thing about the change in mood is it's one less thing to keep you so tense :)

Heather said...

I think you have got to be one of the most amazing mothers on earth. and i applaud your ability to look at this openly.


and i think big kid should know just how lucky he is.
;)

QueenofPlanetHotflash said...

Alright for You!!!
Big Kid has his own place and a lady friend, You still sorta have your sanity and all is well in Attila's world :o) Have yourself a drink, a bubble bath and relax cuz Mom, tomorrows another day!

carmachu said...

You got two....I dont really want to say broken, but something similar folks that just mesh and are good for each other.

Sorta like a fairy tale.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Sounds like you have a healthy attitude towards all of this.

I am glad he has found someone that makes him feel about himself...even if it is a little unorthodox!

Hang in there!

just bob said...

Seems like Kitty may be ok. I hope things continue to work out.

just bob

Joe said...

It warms my heart to see you take the high road with Kitty. Good for you.

TOM said...

Wow, you should have been a circus director.. Hope all works out..Kitty sounds like she's trying to be a good friend to Big Kid

Chris H said...

Wow!
What a turn around ... but I think you are being very wise and thinking of what's best for your son right now... and obviously Kitty is it!

Angela said...

I guess that is what you have to do some time and kindness doesn't come easy sometimes
So good for him

Ruth Dynamite said...

Sounds to me like Big Kid is going to do just fine...thanks to you.

Traceytreasure said...

This really made me smile!
She sounds like a nice woman. I think the age ratio is PERFECT!

I totally get the Demi-Ashton relationship. It just makes sense to me.

I wish her family could look past the age thing.

Isn't it nice that she makes him happy? I sure think so!!

Hugs!!

Traceytreasure said...

BTW- I love Big Kid's honesty!

I sure hope he never sees MY ass!!
LOL!!


He's very lucky to have you and Kitty in his life!

Hugs!!

Valerie Marie said...

"I'm going to take the attitude that if it lasts, it lasts. If it doesn't, it doesn't." I'm so happy for BK and for you. You're a great Mom! xoxo

ntsc said...

Sounds like the answer to a prayer. They would seem to speak the same language.

And that she told him to get cracking on pulling weeds says something good about her.

ntsc said...

Sounds like the answer to a prayer. They would seem to speak the same language.

And that she told him to get cracking on pulling weeds says something good about her.

Grim Reality Girl said...

You are handling this Kitty situation SO well! Kudos to you!!! I love your perspective. I pray I am as good when my kids date. I am glad for him that he has someone who appreciates him :-) Kindness is a beautiful thing -- especially to someone who tells you how big your ass is ;-)

Big Pissy said...

I'm so happy for all of you that things are working out.

Kudos on your attitude. :)

Stinkypaw said...

Good for you! Now, that's what I call "maternal love", you're accepting to roll with shows great ability.

Yay ATM! You really do rock!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That does sound healthy--and at the very least your son is experiencing a healthy relationship with someone he enjoys and if this doesn't last, he has a decent experience to contrast all future/past relationships against.

Good for you all!

She said...

Speaking the same language and keeping it simple make all the difference in the world.

And being loved and getting to love someone, well, that's not a small thing, it's HUGE.

You are a woman of true grace!

phlegmfatale said...

I'm really proud of you for your generosity of spirit, of letting Big Kid explore his relationship with Kitty. That thing you said about them speaking the same language, in a world of billions of people, that is such a rarity. Good for you for letting him be a man. I hope it works out for the best of all possible outcomes for everyone. :)

Jezebel said...

Mom, I loved how heartfelt this post was and ya' know what? You're right. Even if all she is is nothing more than a mother figure, it's got to be making him feel good that someone outside his family cares about him. Good for him! And good for you for being so cool about it!