I surprised myself a few days ago, and not in a good way. I have always considered myself to be a fair, reasonable, educated person. I am not vindictive or mean spirited and I believe strongly in Karma circling its way back to the individual. However, an event recently caused me to have a harsh instinctive thought that has had me questioning my own character. It was a thought that made me feel like a terrible person as soon as it was formed and I have wrestled with my response for the past few days. In the end, after examining my feelings a great deal, I don't regret my response and I understand it and myself a little better.
At the end of last week Aaron's mother was admitted to the hospital to undergo an emergency cesarean section. It went well and she brought a baby girl into the world; Aaron's half sister. My son is not the father of this new child, so I won't have to worry about becoming emotionally attached to the baby. As I watched her post pictures on facebook I felt my resentment and anger growing. At one point she commented that this baby girl was "the most amazing life" and I couldn't stop myself from thinking -"what is Aaron? chopped liver?" This sweet little boy who I adore, who I would give anything to protect and make happy is an amazing life, too! I raged. She hasn't been to see him since early July and it seems that he is now completely pushed aside by this new baby.
Then the terrible thought struck me...
I thought to myself, I hope she has grown up enough these past 2 years to be good mother to that baby (for the baby's sake), or I hope the social services steps in and takes the baby away. It is the second part of this thought that has weighed so heavy on my mind. I certainly do not wish for harm or neglect to fall on this innocent baby girl and I do hope she can have a normal life, but I am very skeptical. It is that skepticism that strengthens my hope of social service involvement. But, it is also motivated by pure selfishness and a desire to protect Aaron.
My heart tells me that if she also cannot parent this new child, then one day Aaron will see that she was no more capable with that child than she was with him. I cannot fathom the sense of rejection he might face one day knowing his mother couldn't love and raise him, but could love and raise another child. I can protect him from most things, but I have no way of protecting him from his parents actions past and future. I can make certain that he isn't physically harmed or neglected, but there is little I can do to protect him emotionally down the road as he begins to understand life beyond G-Ma and Poppie. So, my evil thought was selfish in that such a scenario would make it much easier for me to protect Aaron's emotional wellbeing.
I want to make clear that Aaron's biological mother was not a horrid parent. As far as I know she wasn't abusive to him or outright neglectful. She was a 17 year old selfish teenager without parenting skills.She was emotionally unavailable to him and lacked that nurturing instinct. When Aaron became a burden she would leave him to cry for extended periods or leave him with numerous people who she didn't know overly well. She paid more attention to her text messages than him, dressed him inappropriately in winter and tossed him handfuls of cheerios for breakfast. He was very overweight when he came to us because he was always in a car seat or his crib and tossed snack foods to keep him content. Nothing terrible, but definitely not good parenting either. It boiled down to her placing herself and her needs ahead of her child's needs and he was important only when it was convenient.
So, with guidance, it is perfectly reasonable to believe she could be a decent mother to her new daughter. Yet, I am hoping she fails and that makes me feel like a terrible person. We may be doing a wonderful thing in raising, protecting, providing for and loving our grandchildren, but we're human and as such we experience our own dark, less than noble moments.