adultery, affair, cheating, children, dance, divorce, ex spouse, father/daughter, parenting after separation, separatiion, single parent

Fifteen–The age to stop showing your child you care

My 15-year old daughter has a week of open house at her dance studio where we can go in and watch her classes.  The warm up,  the technical exercises, the teaching method, the relationship between the dancers and the dancers and teacher gives you an appreciation of the work ethic, attitude, skill and effort it takes to put a dance together.

The Company group that she is involved with holds a fundraiser at this time; the dance studio provides coffee, tea and treats; and they take up a collection for coats and food for the local food bank.  It is a great way to build community and to get to know my daughter’s friends, the parents of the friends that she spends the majority of her time with every week and her teachers.

I went to every one of her open house classes. I took photos and video. I contributed to the treats, volunteered to clean up one night and set up the coffee room another day.  I helped sell popcorn for the fundraiser.

I know my ex gets the emails and information about the events at the studio and he has attended at least one of her classes during open house in the past.  There is only one more day left this dance season for my ex to see our daughter in class. I asked her if he was going to attend. Her response was a look and, “What do you think?”  She continued, “He said he didn’t understand why parents of kids my age would go to open houses especially when they will see the dance 5000 times.”

I have not been the only parent attending her classes. After she told me what her dad said I counted at the next class–9 dancers (2 were absent at a school Xmas band concert), 10 people watching both dads and moms and one sibling. Regarding the 2 kids missing–I sat beside the dad and mom of one dancer the previous night so I am sure they would have been there if she was dancing.  The other dancer at the Xmas concert had a mom who was so sick. The mom texted me that she couldn’t go to the band concert (her dad was going) because she would be coughing all the way through it and she didn’t want to ruin the performance for everyone. She texted that she definitely shouldn’t be a the studio either but her other daughter wanted her to see her dance (especially since her dad was going to be at the concert) so she was going to pop in for a bit.  I watched parents split up and take turns dividing their time in each class when they had more than one child dancing.

There is another group of dancers my daughter’s age that run parallel classes. Their ballet and jazz classes are too big so they created 2 separate classes.  Others take classes that my daughter dropped–Hip Hop and Musical Theatre.  I saw parents of those 15-year olds going into their classes as well.

I  know parents have commitments and may not be able to make it but there was a lot of support for 15-year old children.   It is nice to know that the majority seem to believe there is no age limit to your children benefiting from feeling like their parents love and support them and care about what they are doing.

My ex will not get to see our daughter dance any of the dances she is learning in these classes until March. The open house isn’t about watching the dance. They spent the last 2 minutes showing us the dance they are working on but those aren’t even completed yet. In her ballet class they performed a Xmas Nutcracker dance they worked on specifically for the open house.

Anything can happen. Living in the now is all we have.  It is just more insight into my ex’s thinking–“I will support you in 3 months time but not right now. Maybe if you were younger you would get my time now.”  Although history proved that wasn’t reality either.

 

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adultery, affairs, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, divorce, ex spouse, family, Father/daughter relationship, in-laws, infidelity, parenting after separation

Putting on a Show

I drove my niece, my older daughter and my dancer daughter all to Fort Langley Saturday morning.  My dancer had to be at the theatre for a lighting and technical blocking rehearsal at 12:45 p.m.  She stayed at the studio until her 7:00 p.m. performance.

My niece, other daughter and I explored Fort Langley.  I took them to the stores that I thought were interesting and we ate our way around the little town.  Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia and is filled with history. Fort Langley is the set for several movies, especially Hallmark Christmas movies. The yellow Community Hall is one of the landmarks to recognize this city location on screen. We had a really fun and enjoyable day and I am a little sad that this is my last weekend to be here for dance.

We met my brother-in-law for dinner at the Olive Garden at 4:30 p.m.  I gave a heads up that Dave would be at the show as they haven’t seen him since our separation.  My niece adamantly declared that he was no longer family.  My brother-in-law disagreed and they had a bit of an argument over it.  He said that his relationship and loyalty was with me as we had a long and close history. He stated that he was not close to David but pointed out that he never had any issues with him and that they had contact with each other on Facebook after our separation. (He had told me that previously and wanted to know at the time if that was hurtful to me that he reached out to him. Several of my family and friends had done the same and it was not hurtful but I learned my ex didn’t respond to the others)  My brother-in-law told my niece that he got to choose who he considered to be family.

My niece then felt a little badly that Uncle David was going to be at the show alone and wondered if he should sit with us, of course, she said, with he and I being at opposite ends from each other.  My daughter was at the table with us and we were very respectful in our discussions of the social awkwardness and hurt felt by everyone because of this tear in the family.  I know from my discussions with my sister the night before that she would not be able to mask her feelings as easily and I was glad she wasn’t able to attend.   She feels very duped by my ex.  She called him a fraud to me on Friday night citing his praying at all our family meals and then contrasting that to her remembering his come-ons towards her at our last Christmas together (he was involved with Janice at that time already). She said it was wrong on every level. She recalled that he acted all the time like he was this great family guy when it was a lie.  She said that she thought it was just the scotch he was drinking at Christmas but that the alcohol just revealed his true nature. Now that we all know, he didn’t have to pretend anymore. She said that she can see now he doesn’t even care about his children and feels the entire 23 years she knew him was just a facade.

When we got to the theatre we stepped into the long line up waiting for the doors to open.  Dave was not there and I feared for my daughter that he wasn’t going to end up showing.  I popped my head in to the studio so my daughter knew that I was there in the audience for her.  My older daughter then said that her dad texted her and he was waiting in the parking lot.  He wanted to know who from my family was there.  He asked our daughter to save him a seat and to text him to let him know when he could go in.  My niece commented that he is afraid to show himself because he knows he did something wrong.

We had extra seats in our row but after my daughter put down her coat she went to a different row to find a seat for her dad.  When he came in, my brother-in-law and my niece both waved to him to attract his attention.  He waved back and then came up to shake my brother-in-law’s hand and to hug my niece.  I was very proud of my family for the kindness they showed to my children’s father. Dave and I, on the other hand, did not acknowledge each other.

It was a proud and emotional evening.  A girl sang our national anthem beautifully and powerfully while we all stood and sang along and watched our dancers’ photos appear on the large screen on stage with their name over the maple leaf. I wondered how my ex felt listening to the MC who was a dance dad and had traveled with his daughter twice for Team Canada.  He shared about the bond that grew because of those trips together.  He shared about his understanding of the stress on the parents involved–the expense, the fundraising required and work that goes into getting kids to rehearsals, costuming, photograph sittings, press interviews, etc.  My ex was not a part of any of that.

It was a short show–8 dances in the first half and 8 in the second half with a 30 minute intermission to buy 50/50 tickets, wine raffle tickets (40 bottles of wine to win), and silent auction items with the money raised all to support the team. My daughter’s group danced first so her dad left at intermission.  He didn’t get to see her acknowledged at the end in her Team Canada jacket and he didn’t receive the team photo they handed out with all of the notes from the family wishing their dancer good luck on the back–I signed “love mom, dad and (older daughter’s name)” on my note to our daughter.

When we were at the ferry terminal heading back to Victoria we ran into friends.  The mom asked our daughter if her dad came to see her dance.  She said that he did but he left half way through.  Our friend asked “why?” My daughter said it was because she danced first. She said, “He always does that.”    I realized at that moment that she isn’t going to remember that her dad was there to see her dance.  She is going to remember that he left.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, divorce, ex spouse, Janice Andrews, other woman, separatiion

He let the Bat out of the Cave

It was my youngest daughter’s recital on the weekend.  She danced in 4 shows.  She had 7 dances in the Saturday evening show and 4 dances in the Sunday afternoon show.  The other 2 shows she just danced in the final production number.

When my husband left us for another woman he decided that it no longer mattered if my daughter had anyone watching her perform.  He certainly has been a “no show” at many of her events. Where we used to support her completely as a family and go to all her shows, he now may pick just one main one.  She has no other family who live locally to come and watch her and this year none of her grandparents flew in for recital. She has worked so hard all year practicing for this final event that it would make me sad to think that she didn’t have anyone personal in the audience attending specifically for her.  I usually buy an extra ticket and invite a girlfriend to come and watch just so she has more people to cheer her on and appreciate her talent and hard work.

In that respect, I was fine with my ex bringing “the other woman”. I just wanted my daughter to feel like people cared enough to come and see her and if that is what gets her dad out then so be it. It is the first time he has brought the OW out to something where he hasn’t hidden with her in the back and ducked out early.

I was walking down the aisle of the theatre with my older daughter to find our seats before the show started when my daughter exclaimed, “Oh well look at who is here.” She walked up and talked to her dad and Janice Andrews and when I realized who she was talking to I just kept going. I spoke to a friend who caught my attention as we were sitting in the same row and I was trying to figure out where in the row my seats were located. She said, “Yuck, did you see who is behind us?”  Interestingly enough she was sitting with her ex.  They always attend things as a family to support their daughter.  I just smiled and said that I better go around to the other side to access my seats.  Thankfully, I was sitting well away from my ex and the OW.  While I was walking to my seat another family engaged me in conversation and my thoughts were long from my ex already.  I had a glass of wine and was very excited for the show.

At intermission, my ex and the OW didn’t leave their seats.  My older daughter went to talk to them and after coming back from the washroom I stopped at seats just in front of them to speak to friends who had just returned from celebrating their wedding anniversary in Hawaii.

When the show was finished we all met outside at the backstage door and encouraged my daughter.  The OW didn’t say anything. When we were ready to go my ex and the OW walked ahead hand in hand.  It wasn’t even weird that my husband was holding hands with someone else. I have no emotional tie to him or them at all.  There was nothing about them that made me care what they did, where they were going or how they got there.  I was happy to be with my girls and to be going home with them.

I was back to see my daughter perform her 4 dances the next afternoon show and to go out for lunch with her afterwards between shows.  Her dad did not come to watch.  He obviously had more important things to do.

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, anger, Betrayal, cheating, children, dance, disappointment, ex spouse, infidelity, Janice Andrews, marriage, separatiion, the other woman

Crappy Dance Dad

Dance competition season is here.

My 13-year old daughter competed on Friday performing her Jazz solo routine.  She came in second place and she won the Spirit Award.  Her dad was a no-show.

Tonight after her competition she asked me, “Was Janice there?”

I said, “I don’t know, was your dad there because I didn’t see him?”  She said, “I thought I saw Janice and it made me almost mess up my tap routine.”

While we were driving home her dad texted her and said, “Were you happy with your jazz routine?”

She texted back, “Did you see it?”

She then told him that if he had been there he would have heard the adjudicators give her individualized, very specific critiques about both of her tap and jazz solo routines. He would have heard that they only hand out 2 prizes, first and second place.  He would have seen her receive the second place award.  He would have seen her receive roses from the judges. He would have learned that first place and second place are now moving on to compete at Provincials.  He would have learned that his daughter achieved one of her goals and desires and is invited to Provincials for the first time in her life.

My daughter was congratulated by so many people.  People were taking her photo and photos of the first and second place winners. Her dad was not one of those people. He texted saying, “I didn’t stay because I just thought there were going to be comments and I didn’t know there were going to be awards.”

I was trying not to express how angry I was by his texts as she read them to me. I could hear her disappointment that her dad might have been there but couldn’t even be bothered to stay until the end. I thought, “I have been with her at dance from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. today and you couldn’t bother to sit through commentary by very prestigious and accomplished judges specifically about your daughter’s dancing ability during her solos?”

Of all the times to bring the other woman because it just makes her look too uninterested to stay and that her dad once again put this woman as priority over her.  My daughter tried to protect her dad and make excuses for him by saying, “He probably left so Janice didn’t have to see you.” I didn’t respond.  I’ve been going through this for 3 years.  I have so much compassion for my daughter right now. I felt her sadness and disappointment. The highest dance honour she has received will be another reminded of her dad’s absence. I don’t need to reason with my child.  She knows the truth. I just vent here instead and her dad just puts more distance in his relationship with her.

I really tried hard not to let her dad’s indifference overshadow her amazing experience.  I took her to get a treat to celebrate and we focused on talking about all the great things that happened today at the competition.  I am so proud of her.  I am so proud of how hard she has worked for this and didn’t give up when she was feeling discouraged about her routine. I am so grateful that I was able to be there to share in her joy and to be part of her life and that she knows that.

We are back at it tomorrow from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. as my daughter competes in all 3 sessions, morning, afternoon and evening, with her group dances. I am so tired but I am so lucky!

 

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children, dance, divorce, mediation, separation agreement, special expenss

A moment of conscience and acceptance of responsibility

I was shocked when my ex turned up at my house on Friday with cheques for 70% of my youngest daughter’s dance payments to begin September 2015 including a direct withdrawal authorization form for her studio.

As per our mediation agreement, he is to pay this amount but he was also to pay 50% of these payments for the period of November 6, 2014 to June 26, 2015 (date of mediation to when the house sale closes) and it never happened. The arrears will be deducted from any amount he is due from the sale of the house.

I suggested several times that he attend my daughter’s dance registration on June 12 so he can participate in the process of determining what dance classes he is prepared to help finance. He was already relaying to my lawyer through his lawyer that he couldn’t afford to pay for any dance so when he asked me the cost of what she wanted to take I figured it was only so he could say, “No.”

To help save money, my daughter dropped Hip Hop classes for last season and agreed to not participate in the summer dance camp. To help ensure she could continue to dance next season, she chose to drop Musical Theatre and again to not participate in the summer dance camp. I explained this to my ex, calculated what I thought the monthly fee would be for next year, the costume deposit amount and the registration fee.

When I returned from registration I texted him to thank him for paying his share of the expenses and to confirm she was registered. I also let him know that I had miscalculated the amount. At her level, she is required to take a Ballet Tech class for 1 1/4 hours/week. That translates to $23 additional monthly dollars ($230 in total for the whole year). I also missed one costume deposit. She takes Pointe ballet. At her level for next season she is required to perform Pointe in the recital. The costume deposit, that doesn’t have to be paid until October 1, 2015, is $60. I apologized twice for my mistake and let him know the amount he owed is $201. I let him know that I already covered this with the studio by adding it to my monthly withdrawal and in my costume deposit cheque.

I anticipated an angry, “you messed up, you pay the difference”, response but instead I received, “That’s okay. We’ll work it out.”

I actually texted back to him, “Who are you and what did you do with my ex?”

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