You, my readers, are a life saver. Thanks to all your comments and questions yesterday and after meeting for afternoon coffee chat with Jill, I now have a clear understanding of what’s important to me and how I want to proceed with Hayden.
I had forgotten to mention in my post yesterday something shocking that Hayden said on Monday night. I remembered this only while chatting with Jill. At one point, I had asked Hayden was he was thinking and he responded, while looking sad and shaking his head, “I am really disappointed in myself.”
I thought it was bizarre. Why would he feel disappointed? He had nothing to feel disappointed about… unless he was saying he was disappointed in himself because I was disappointed.
I should mention now that I believe Hayden is a people-pleaser. A few months ago, when I asked him if we could do something, he said yes… then said, “I always want to say yes to you.” I thought it was a strange comment and called him on it, telling him that I didn’t want him to please me if it meant doing something he didn’t want to do.
I have also pieced together that he was an angelic kid, student, and son. He said he never got in trouble when he was little because he always did what he was asked. Whoa. (I have told him many times that his parents were lucky because that wasn’t normal. It’s normal developmentally for kids to push boundaries.)
Jill had a great point, too. She said that it’s possible he won’t remember details of our short discussion, but he will remember how he felt. Especially if he felt disappointed. So at least I have that working in my favor.
I will probably be seeing Hayden tonight. Jill had a great tip about how to start the conversation again. I shouldn’t ask him if he remembers our conversation and put him on the spot; I should ask him what he thinks about it. Wise words.
This is how I’m going to proceed with the conversation:
- I’m going to stress that I want to spend more quality time with him… and that doesn’t always mean watching TV.
- I’m going to ask him if there’s anything he’s been wanting to do around the bay area. If so, I’m going to suggest getting out and doing them together. I have 3 to suggest: I want to visit the newly re-opened MOMA, hike Sutro forest, and explore Chinatown.
- I’m going to ask him to commit to and help plan a weekend road trip in the near future.
- I’m going to tell him that, ideally, I would like to spend most of my kid-free weekends with him. That would mean Friday night through Sunday late morning/mid-afternoon. If he can’t spend the weekend together, I would like advance notice (at least 1 day) so that I can make other plans. I expect to negotiate on this.
- I’m going to suggest keeping our weekday schedule to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so that I can make other plans on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
- I’m going to stress that I don’t want him to agree to something that will make me happy if it’s going to make him miserable. When he’s happy, I’m happy.
I feel so much better having a clear game plan for the discussion. I slept well last night and got caught up on the sleep I missed on Monday night. I woke up early (something I rarely do) so I could write this post, workout, and do dishes.
Wish me luck tonight! Crossing my fingers it goes much better.