Divorce definitely affects the entire family, all those extended members included.
For the first time my birth mom and my in-laws arrive in Victoria for the same week. The event that attracts them is my youngest daughter’s final dance recital of the year.
My birth mom arrived last night at 11:00 p.m. and my in-laws arrive tonight. They flew from the same airport, with the same airline, the same flight number, but one night apart.
What surprised me, although honestly it is ridiculous that my ex’s behaviour can still surprise me, is that although my in-laws came specifically to see my daughter dance, my ex only got them tickets to see one of her shows. She dances in 4 recitals but Saturday afternoon she has 4 dances and Saturday evening she dances in 5 completely different numbers than the first show. My older daughter said that her dad told her the afternoon show is duplicate. I assured her they are 4 dances that my daughter as never seen; ballet, tap, jazz tech and one of her Company numbers and that the evening show is entirely different with my daughter performing 2 different musical theatre numbers, jazz, modern and lyrical. She asked if I could get her a ticket.
I texted my ex to ensure he was in fact going to miss his daughter’s afternoon performances and that he did not get our daughter and his parents tickets to the afternoon show. He confirmed this was the case. I told him I was disappointed he wasn’t going to support her at her first show. His response, “My choices are mine and for reasons you don’t know.”
So, although I had not seen or spoke to my in-laws since they came last year to see my daughter dance, I contacted my ex’s parents to let them know that their son did get them tickets to the evening show but that their grand-daughter was also in the first show. I said that they may have other plans but I wanted to make sure they knew she was dancing different dances in the previous show as well.
They indicated that they were coming to see her perform, they had no plans and they wanted to attend the early show as well. I told them I was getting their other grand-daughter a ticket and if they wanted, I could order their tickets at the same time so they could sit together. My father-in-law emailed me after I sent the ticket confirmation and thanked me for reaching out to them. Since my ex wasn’t going to be at the first show I invited them to join us for a bite to eat between shows.
I texted my ex to let him know I got his parents and daughter each tickets for the earlier show.
On Tuesday night my performing daughter came home to say that in fact her dad was now going to her afternoon show. I am so happy she will have an audience of family who are there to support her and focus on her. However, when I told my ex I had invited his parents to have dinner with us between shows when I thought he wasn’t going to be there he said, “Why would my parents want to spend any time with you?”
So, now we are back to the awkwardness of all of us waiting at the stage door for my daughter to emerge, congratulating her after her first performance maybe giving her flowers and gifts and then me taking her away for dinner while they go a separate way. Then seeing each other during the evening show and pretending all is fine. It also puts my older daughter in an awkward position because which group does she choose to go with?
My birth mom said to my performing daughter and me tonight, “Why can’t we all go to eat together?” Neither of us responded.