So…last weekend there was a touching scene between my son and his father on my front porch. There was a hug and Will said ”You look good, son!” Will looked genuinely happy to see Marc, and vise-verse.
Fast forward to today when I, in my brilliance, decide to call Will. I tell him that Marc feels depressed and it is a good time to run over to my house and ask Marc if he’d like to go out and get some sunshine. The scene on the porch encouraged my suggestion.
(La dee da, Kellie hums to herself, I’m doing a good thing for my boy by communicating with my horrible – oops, I mean, Marc’s father, la dee da la dee da!) Hey – don’t knock it. It was a nice fantasy while it lasted.
This afternoon, at work, my ex calls to sat that he asked Eddie, our youngest, about why Marc was home from school, but Eddie was “vague.”
I explained that Marc’s grades were so low after missing so much school for rehab that he wanted to opt out of this semester and return in January. Will asked me how that would affect his GPA and I told him.
Will went on to say that although he applauded Marc’s decision, he did not appreciate me leaving him out of the loop.
(Whoomp there it is: Loud crashing sound of my do-good fantasy collapsing around my desk followed by the thought “you knew he was a snake…”*)
Oh really? I thought to myself. Paraphrasing, I said, “You didn’t reach out to him in the months before he left while he was struggling. You did not support his decision to go to rehab. You didn’t contact him in the days leading up to his departure although I told you when he was leaving. You didn’t write him while he was at rehab. You didn’t text, email or call me about Marc before or after he left. I don’t think you have room to talk about being left out of the loop now.”
Will became angry and exploded with a threat. I didn’t listen. I hung up the phone.
One of these days, I’ll learn the lesson of The Farmer and the Snake – “Learn from my fate not to take pity on a scoundrel.”
The Farmer and the Snake
One winter day, a farmer found a snake by the roadside, stiff and motionless with cold.
“If you put me inside your shirt,” the snake said, “your body will make me warm and I won’t freeze to death.”
“Oh, I know your kind,” replied the farmer. “If I pick you up, you will bite me.”
“Oh no,” the snake objected. “Why would I do such a thing, if you are good enough to help me?”
So the farmer had compassion on the snake, and taking it up, he put it inside his shirt. The warmth quickly revived the snake, and resuming its natural instincts, it bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. “Oh,” cried the farmer with his last breath, “why did you bite me? You promised you wouldn’t.”
“Ah,” said the snake. “So I did. But you knew I was a snake when you picked me up.”