Earlier in the week, I was invited to a pizza party tonight for Blondie's birthday. I told her I didn't think I'd be able to make it, because I had a family thing. When the Prison Librarian later sent me a text asking if I wanted to carpool with her and KayGee, I said I was going to my nephew's track meet if the weather was nice.
That's right -- my family thing was my nephew's track meet. And I wondered what my friends thought of that. I often wonder what they think when I say I can't do this thing or that thing because my nephew has something or other going on. I mean, they're just his football games, or basketball games or track meets or baseball games or programs or whatever. I can skip that, right?
The thing is, I really feel like I should go to as much of his stuff as I can. For one thing, I adore the kid. He's great. But also, his dad is an asshole. Once upon a time, he used to come to several games a year. Now, though? He doesn't come to shit. My nephew has pointed out a few times over the last couple of years that his uncle comes to far more games than his dad.
It just breaks my heart. And my nephew has really started to realize what a jackass his dad is. In addition to the whole "my uncle comes to more of my stuff than my dad does," thing, he's realizing that just in general, his dad is an ass. His dad will say he can't come up for whatever event my nephew has going on because he has to do something with/for his wife/daughter/stepson. That's right -- apparently, his wife's son rates higher than his own.
When my nephew is actually at his dad's on alternating (at best) weekends and wants to spend time with just his dad, my ex-brother-in-law can't because he has to take care of shit with/for his wife/daughter/stepson. It's fucking bullshit. Things have gotten to the point where he starts worrying about going to his dad's weeks ahead of time. Tonight, after his track meet, he was saying he felt sick and was nearly in tears about going to his dad's -- and he's only staying there tomorrow night.
My sister was talking about this tonight and she said she told him that he needs to talk to his dad about this. My nephew said he did once, but his dad just made him feel bad. I seriously almost started bawling right there in the bleachers. I know he has to figure it out at some point, and there are so many people out there with shitty dads, but ... I hate it.
So, despite the fact that my family drives me nuts, I put up with them because I want to be there to show my nephew that not everyone in his life is a selfish asshole. Every time I get upset with my family members and just don't want to spend time with them because they make me feel horrible, I suck it up because I just won't abandon my nephew like his dad has done. Sure, I'm nothing like a dad, but I do what I can. That's what I have to remember when I feel like people are judging me for spending time with my family members who make me crazy. I'll continue to spend time with my family and to volunteer to hang out with him, take him to things and pick him up from shit as long as necessary.