nate_beaumont: (Considering)
Last night I got one of those smacks upside the head that I think must hit non-custodial parents everywhere at least a few times in their lives. I'd just finished up a pile of paperwork with my accountant over at Elle's West when I got a call from my ex-wife. Celeste calling me was not the head-smack, believe it or not; we've worked hard over the years to keep a good relationship for our daughter's sake. The smack came when she informed me that Angelique, our fifteen-year-old little girl, will be going to her first high school prom in a couple of weeks. Some junior boy asked her.

Now I remember junior boys. Believe it or not, I remember being one myself. I also remember what boys and girls that age managed to get away with on prom night, chaperons or no. The thought of some kid with one thing on his mind slow-dancing with my Angelcakes .... I know, she's at boarding school, so who knows what she's done without Celeste or me hearing a word about it, but my brain still started yelling Foul, no fair, I was supposed to get two more years before having to deal with this!

Let me just insert here that Celeste did not share my concerns. In fact my ex has a nose like a bloodhound for anything even faintly resembling criticism on my part of her raising of Angie. There followed a--I don't know if it quite got to argument levels, but a spate of "Do we know anything about this boy?" and "Don't you ruin this for her with an interrogation!" and "So because I don't have custody, I'm not allowed to worry?" and "I have talked with her about dealing with boys, don't you trust your own daughter?" and so on. Truth to tell, Celeste seemed more amused than anything else, at least until she ever-so-gently said the one thing guaranteed to piss me off royally.

"You can't keep her from growing up, Nate. You couldn't even if you were here."

No, I couldn't. No, I'm not there. Yes, my not being there is my damn fault, and thank you so much for rubbing my nose in it, Celeste.

I ended that call before we wound up pouring a real argument through our cell phones, one centered on the fact that Angie wanted to attend a school here in San Diego and stay with me if her Mama was so fixated on someplace out of state, an idea Celeste nixed without even asking me. The rest of the night got wasted brooding on my least favorite piece of reality: I see only bits and pieces of my only child's life. Scattered snapshots, words over the telephone, snatched holidays and visits, they're all I get. She's across the country in Massachusetts, making the transition from little girl to young woman, and they're still all I get. And the fault for that is indeed entirely mine.

[Filtered to Matt]

I'm sure you can imagine what else I spent the night doing. Self-checks and inventories, you know the drill by now. No, I did not stop by the Savannah's bar on the way out the door, nor at any bars or liquor stores on the way home. I kept asking myself, do I need to call someone right now, can I hold out until I can hit a meeting tomorrow ... the whole nine yards. All the while wondering if this will be my reaction to stress for the rest of my life, and knowing it probably will. Well, I did it. I stayed away from that drink, and however many would have followed it.

But I came closer to it than I have in quite a while.
nate_beaumont: (Aw shucks)
And Grace will lead me home )
nate_beaumont: (Can't brane need coffee)
Hello, Nate Beaumont here, or not here as the case seems to be. If you're calling concerning Shiso, please hang up and dial 555-8624, or 555-3553 for Elle's West. Otherwise, I'm sure you know the drill: name, number and pertinent info after the beep. If this is an emergency, I can be paged at 555-6283. Have a better day.

Voice Messages / Text Messages / Silliness / :3?
nate_beaumont: (Phone 01)
questions | comments | plotting
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May 2010

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