Four months ago, Punkin would have cringed at the thought of hugging me. The Rat Bastard had pretty much destroyed our relationship during his move; Punkin found it easy to lay blame for all his troubles on my shoulders. It was a tough time around our house. I'm knocking on wood as I say this, but it seems like we are headed toward better days.
The boys just returned from their first 6 week visit with their Dad. The day after his picked them up at the airport, he drove them 4 hours away to their grandparents and left them there for the entire 6 weeks. Sure he visited them on his days off, but it wasn't exactly what they had in mind. I'm not certain if it was that experience or just the reaction to being away from his Mom for so long, but Punkin came back a changed boy. Either he was abducted by aliens or he gained a better appreciation for his Mom. Just today, he hugged me 3 times. Yes, he hugged me three whole times. He also begged Honey and I to play with him in the pool and didn't complain once about me waking him at the crack of dawn to go eat breakfast. And no, you could not wipe the smile off my face.
Now, I am well aware that the appreciation and affection may wear off over time. I'm not getting my hopes up that I finally have my son back for good. The therapist appointments have already been scheduled. But, this was a well-needed break no matter what happens.
Learning how to parent on your own is hard. Doing it with the drama Rat Bastard infused before he left made it near impossible. But it really feels like our new little family has turned a corner. I welcome the normal ups and downs of raising a teen compared to what we have been through. It is wonderful to be able to say, once again, that I have made it through the shit of what life has to offer, and came out on the other side with more love and laughter than I thought possible.