I made a huge
vat pot of chili yesterday. Our son Jaye and his family came for a visit. They haven’t been here since Christmas Eve, due to one kid or the other being sick, or the weather causing dangerous traveling conditions, so it was good to be able to cook for them. I also made guacamole again, because it just goes with chili. So, I bought extra limes, because I thought a nice pitcher of frozen margaritas would be just the thing to get me through all the noise and chaos of six kids and five adults in my house, and I could share them with Kelly, our ex-daughter-in-law. Now, I’m a one-margarita kind of drinker, but I had two, maybe three, so that’s where the title of this post comes from. I have margarita-morning-after head. Ugh.
Jaye’s family situation is a little, shall we say, tenuous? Or maybe a better description would be, I don’t know what the hell is going on with him and his ex-wife. They seem to be back together. He’s been dwelling/living/residing at her house for the last few months, but he’s also keeping his apartment. Probably in case she goes bat-shit crazy again, and decides she hates him again, and throws him out on a moment’s notice again. Okay, this did not go where I thought it was going, but since it did, let’s explore it a little further.
When their sweet little Lauren died, it tore apart their marriage, which had been on shaky ground anyway. The statistics are not good for marriages surviving the death of a child, so they became a statistic. But, the hard part is they still love each other, and they love their boys, Matthew and Nicholas (the one with Down syndrome). Shared parenting is difficult, especially if the parents’ relationship in contentious, and parenting a special needs child makes it even harder.
To be fair to Kelly, Jaye did his own share of going crazy in the months and even years after Lauren died, so I can’t say that it was all her fault, although, being Jaye’s parents, we probably cut him a little more slack that we did her. And, we mostly only heard his part of the story, even though there were plenty of times when she tried to drag us into it. It hasn’t been a fun three years. For either of them, or for the boys, or for us.
So, Jaye is going to finish his Master’s degree in history in May. He has applied to PhD programs at five or six universities. He has had very positive feedback from Cornell, talking for about two hours to someone there who was blown away by his application written work. And he was recruited by someone at Brandeis to apply there. He also applied to Columbia. His hope, though, is to be accepted at University of Chicago, whose program is most suited to his area of study and interest. It also happens to be the only city where Kelly is willing to relocate. Mainly because she already has a job offer there. She works for the Veteran’s Administration as a psychiatric nurse practitioner, and her skills are in demand. Ironically, they had planned to move there right before Lauren died. In fact, she had already accepted a post at the VA, and they had found a house they wanted to buy. She had to decline the post, because the thought of moving was too much to deal with, understandably.
If Jaye is accepted at U of Chicago, Kelly is willing to pull up roots and move there with him, and I assume they will remarry, although nothing has been said to that effect. If he decides to go to any of the other schools, she won’t go. If he goes to Cornell, there’s no VA within an hour-and-a-half driving distance of Ithaca, and even if she took the job there, she would have to take a pay cut. New York City and Boston are both too expensive, because she is already at the top of her pay scale. Of course, we’re assuming that at least one of these schools will offer him a position. History is a pretty small area, so it’s tough getting in. If he goes, and she stays, I’m not sure how she will be able to cope with the full-time care of the boys. And I know Jaye will miss them so much, and feel extremely guilty for leaving them. It’s a huge dilemma. Of course, the problem could be solved by his not being accepted by any of the schools. I guess we’ll know the answer to that in a couple of months. Stay tuned.
See you soon,