I think I got played - and couldn't care less. About the grandpa's watch

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SuZir, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I called difficult child and presented him my three choices for his graduation present. I let him choose between my grandpa's watch that comes with huge emotional baggage (especially to me), new watch with equal value or compromise there grandpa's watch is given to him, but it stays in my safety deposit box between (the rare) occasions he may want to use it. To the last option I was ready to add something smaller which would be more use to him currently, like the fancy headphones I knew he would like to have.

    For the boy with rather clear social skills problems he certainly knows how to pull my heartstrings. He so played me with this, I think. He told that he really wanted a grandpa's watch but because he is a scatterbrain he is, he is worried he would misplace or break it. So he chose option three, but instead of those headphones he would like to have a trendy watch in that same price range as those headphones. I gave him to the end of the week to find a one he likes so I have time to buy and have also that engraved. Okay, nothing wrong till this but somehow I ended up telling him that because he would really love those headphones too, I would tell about them to in-laws if they ask. And if they have something else in their mind for a present, I implied difficult child should probably write to Santa Claus about those headphones. :rofl: Well, I guess I would have given him something more than socks and underwear for Christmas anyway.

    Right after the call I used my lunch break to get the grandpa's watch from bank and take it to the jeweller's to add difficult child's graduation date to the engraving. I really hadn't understood how much it meant to me to be able to do that. Whatever difficult child ends up doing with the watch over the years, I think that was worth it. And yes, if I come here to whine how difficult child has sold the watch to pay his gambling debts, you have my advanced permission to tell me that 'we told you so.'

    I don't know if I have a middle-age crisis or what, but being able to pass that piece of family history on, is huge to me. My family line can be traced far back and it is full of difficult children. Some who have achieved a lot despite of it and some who have just lost a lot. Highs have been high and lows have been low over the generations. Now there aren't really anyone but me and my sons left. I do have some third and fourth cousins, but my mother was the last one to carry the name. When younger I always rejected that legacy and wanted my 'white picket fence.' I got that and I have always tried to blend in to my husband's family, and despite there not being any love lost between me and my mother in law, I have merged well. I like husband's siblings and my father in law, I adore husband's granny and I feel blessed to have been able to raise my kids to be part of that family. But lately, maybe because of my difficult child and because how he so clearly comes after my side of the family, I have been thinking more and more about my roots. And instead of rejecting all that trouble and dysfunction I have started to slowly honour that legacy. There truly are many great achievements among all the heartbreak, chaos and dysfunction. Some of those achievements greatly outlive the troubles. I have started to learn, that for my sake and for the sake of my kids my heritage may not be something I should scorn at. And passing that watch to next generation, especially to my very own difficult child feels like big step to that direction.

    I know I'm not making much sense, but I'm feeling really good today. I can't know about tomorrow but today I'm very happy with being able to have my son's graduation date engraved to that watch.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm glad difficult child recognizes at list a bit of his own GFGness... and opted to play it "safe"... even if that meant playing for more! Well handled, warrior mom.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah! That was my vote from the beginning. I.don't think you got played, he honestly wants it all and you honestly are proud of his hard work. If you have it to give, I think most of us choose to give extra especially at special times like this. (by the way my little niece just got some uber cool headphones, yeah they are pretty neat )
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The beats headphones? Lucky boy!
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Got that one right ;)
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Buddy, I'm sure he honestly does want it all and that is why he played me. But as I said, I don't care the slightest. These are things I'm happy to give him and that I certainly don't think will harm him in any way.And difficult child's determination to make a life for himself will not be diminished by him being able to play me for something small extra at times. Things would be different if he was just drifting, but he is working really hard to achieve his dreams and goals and little motherly indulgent isn't going to ruin that. If he ruins it, it will be for much bigger reasons.

    After his crash he was in very reduced gifts and handouts policy, because we felt he really needed to experience the sting of what he was doing to his life. We helped him with absolute necessities because first he was a minor and we had to do so by law and then later because he was trying and absolutely needed that help. And from the moment he was able to survive on his own, we withdraw our regular financial help. And we made him survive the public embarrassment of not having things that everyone else did - and most people figuring out why. One of the 'not haves' was even so public he did come up with a lie in a television interview to hide the fact that 'not having' was a consequence of his own bad choices. And of course then had to live with people around knowing he did lie about it. Now that he has earned also that item back (it was his sticker chart reward I wrote earlier), he is certainly appreciating it much more, but he also learned to survive without, that is valuable lesson on itself.

    When he turned 18, his birthday present from us consisted about socks, underwear, cheap tennis shoes and a used coffee maker (his then room mate had moved out and took a coffee maker with him.) Last Christmas he had been doing well almost a year and we decided to risk it and gave him a new basic laptop (the one we had given him when he left home was really old, he could use it to the very basic and essential things but not much more) which he has taken good care of. After that we have been more generous with gifts and handouts and I have to say that it feels good to be able to do so. To give him things and help I envisioned giving my newly almost adult, on his own, child. And now feeling safe about even indulging him a bit. It's funny how good that feels.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think that's absolutely great. You certainly have earned the right to a normal parental moment of indulgence! And he has earned being on the receiving end. He is working through some big things....

    Q has to earn so much in the world, I try to use bd and Christmas as just because you're special days. I openly admit if I was in the position he'd receive much more.

    Your guy made a good choice in my humble opinion, and you get to feel great about passing down the watch. Win-win.