As you may or may not know, Justin has a son, Hylan from a previous relationship. He's a great little 4 year old, but Justin doesn't get to see him very often. And I've heard all the bad stories about his ex and I've witnessed some of the text or messages that she's left him. It's an all around sad situation because there is a little boy in the middle. Being that I grew up in the middle of a similar situation, it hurts me to see. I feel like neither one of them is willing to compromise and therefore they don't get anywhere. But I also know that everybody has stories, and honestly, I don't care to be in the middle of them. I don't really listen when people are going on and on about her because I wasn't there and therefore, I know that parts could easily be missing from the story. That's how I treat everyone....or try to....stories are just stories to me. Unless I saw it myself first hand, I'm not going to form my opinion based on them. So to me, I tried to go into this was a clean slate.
This weekend, I decided to give it a try. For me to talk to Jenn is easier because I don't have all the emotional baggage involved. I talked with her for a long time and explained that we'd love to have him over for a night, or just the day if that's all she was comfortable with. I heard every bad thing that's ever happened between her and Justin and although I didn't care to, it was part of the process, which is fine. I believe that there are two sides to every story and I also believe that everybody makes mistakes. But to me, the only way to move on is to let the past go and look forward. So that was the stance I took.
I could understand that she wanted to meet me as I was going to be around her son, and if it were me in that situation, I'd want to meet the other person too. So I met with her, and talked to her and got her to allow Hylan to come visit for what turned out to be Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon. I showed her his bedroom, and that the house was safe. I assured her that I'd keep in touch to let her know how he was doing. And I did. I sent her a few texts telling her what he was doing. I sent a few pictures of him having fun. I let Hylan call her if he said he missed her. And everything went really well. I went and picked him up and also was the only one home when she came to get him. To me, it made the most sense since Justin & her don't accomplish much except fighting.
He's a great little boy and although I've heard about the past, I've also found that everybody will agree that she did a damn good job raising her son. He's incredibly polite, listens well, eats veggies and fruit for snacks by choice, and is very smart and imaginative. I was a little worried that he'd be scared or wouldn't have fun since we don't have a kid set up at our house, but it all went well. Justin took him fishing and he caught a fish! We rented movies at night before bedtime. He had fun playing in the yard and just running around exploring everything, and he made friends with the two kids across the street who came over and played with him.
And yes, I was paranoid the entire time. He'd run on the concrete patio and I had the visions of him cracking his head open as I once did. But I'd ask him to come to the grass and play and he would. I was worried that when it was time to eat, he would be fussy and not eat anything that we had. I was also wrong. He ate dinner with us and even asked for more broccoli! I was worried that there was going to be a tantrum at some point, but he never once even came close. Bedtime scared me too. Obviously he was in a new place and I was worried he would be scared to sleep, or just not want to because he was excited. But he had calmed down during the movie, and at bed time he jumped right in bed with his little animals all around him and fell asleep. He was sleeping in what was my old bed. A big queen size bed. I was scared because it's a really high bed. So to calm my own nerves, I took off couch cushions and put them on the floor around the bed. But he barely even moved from his spot! And he didn't wake up at 6 am as I had feared, which was another nice bonus! (Note that the first night Justin & I whispered for the rest of the night and every noise we heard we tip toed over to his room to check on him!!)
I was shocked and very pleased with how well everything went. I was worried there would be some awkward moments, but there weren't. He told me stories and talked about his life and his mom. It was really nice to see him and I enjoyed it all. It was made clear that discussing anything bad between her & Justin wasn't ok with me. Sometimes we had to come up with creative answers when he'd ask why he couldn't come over more. I hope that he can, and that's what I told him.
Honestly, he's a great little boy and I hope that this is a step in the right direction. We enjoyed having him around and want to buy some toys for him, but it's hard right now because we don't know if he can come back. I hope he can. I hope that everybody can move forward because no matter what the situation, I can guarantee that she could use a break sometimes. He's full of energy and I was exhausted after having him here. I know that she must get exhausted too. And we can give her that break. She can have some free time, go out, have fun, do things that aren't kid friendly, and we can get to see Hylan. It seems a win for everybody. I really hope it works out.