I have spoken often of my daughter's -- the proverbial he-who-shall-not-be-named -- but not so much of the man with whom I raised my boys.
Yes, they are different. I was married twice before I got it right 6 1/2 years ago with my Wonderhubby.
It is easy to find the evil in my daughter's father. His sins are legendary -- and obvious.
It is less simple to pinpoint the problem with my sons' father.
I saw the problems from my up-close-and-personal position as his wife, and as his adversary in a contentious custody battle, but I never was quite sure that other people would see what I saw.
Perhaps they would just view him as a well-meaning jerk in his own goofball way. Maybe no one else would think he was a bad influence, making poor decisions based on flawed judgment.
I was gratified when a family court judge granted me sole physical AND legal custody, based on a two-day trial. Sole legal custody is unheard of here -- especially when you don't even ask for it.
I tolerated his nonsense silently from afar, always providing the boys for their court-ordered visitations in a timely manner. Occasionally, I contemplated taking him back to court over some of his ridiculous choices, but as long as my boys remained safe and -- for the most part -- under my watch, I stayed in the shadows.
And I said nothing to my three sons.
As it turns out, I didn't need to.
Following our traditional Christmas morning movie, we sat around chatting at the mall for awhile, and the topic of their father came up.
And again, I said nothing to my three sons.
Because they have figured it out on their own.
My Drummer Man -- who has not a mean bone in his body -- still heatedly defends the man, but Drama King and Z-man decline to speak to him and unceremoniously hang up on him when he attempts to call.
In fact, they feel so strongly about him that both of them decline to use his last name as their own. DK has long played with other surname options, but only recently I discovered that Z-man has changed his Facebook profile to use MY maiden name, rather than the last name he was given at birth.
So the leopard has not changed his spots.
It's just that, for the most part, the cubs see those spots for what they are.
Cross-posted at Mid-Century Modern Moms