I had an interesting, and slightly distressing, conversation tonight with Oldest Son. He said that he was thinking that he might like to stay at my house on Sunday nights of the week that he is at my house. Currently, all 3 boys go back to MomC's at 7 p.m. on Sundays of my weekend.
I told him that my girlfriend usually spends the night on the
Sundays that he goes back to his mom's. I said that I like having her
spend the night, and that I wasn't sure if it would be ok for her to
spend the night when he is here--that might be really uncomfortable for
him. So we'd have to figure that out. I also told him that I would need to talk with MomC. Changing the schedule is something that she and I have to discuss directly--not pass information back and forth through him. He said that he thinks his mom doesn't agree with that; she thinks he should discuss it with me. Not sure exactly what that means. If it means she thinks he should bring up the question of schedule changes with me, that's ok. If it means that she wants to negotiate with me through him, that is definitely not ok.
Then he said that MomC had asked him if he wanted to do it, and that it was MomC's idea. Or maybe it wasn't. I couldn't get a clear read on it. I told him that when I was growing up, sometimes my mom would tell people that I wanted something, when it wasn't really something I wanted, it was something that she wanted. I said that I wasn't clear what he wanted to do, and that I thought it was important to understand what it was he wanted. He said he wasn't sure. I said that if he isn't sure what he wants, then we should wait to change things until he is sure. He agreed.
A little later I went to his room to talk to him. I told him that when I was in 10th grade, I had enough high school credits that I could have graduated in 3 years if we had arranged all my classes just right. At orientation night, my mom had brought this up with the counselor. He looked at me and asked why I wanted to graduate a year early. And when he asked that, I suddenly realized that I had no desire to graduate early. That was what my mom wanted. I stammered and didn't say anything. My mom came in with "I think he sees it as moving on to bigger and better things." I remember later telling that to one of my teachers. She said that if I didn't want to graduate a year early, then the counselors could make sure that didn't happen.
After I finished the story, I asked Oldest if he knew why I was telling him this story.
He said because he's getting old enough to have to figure out what he wants.
I said yes. You have to start figuring out what you want and making decisions. Sometimes people want you to do what is best for them rather than what is best for you. You need to start learning to tell the difference between the two.