Thanks Bev, I do get a ton of gratification from the time I spend with him. I wish I could home school him, I know he has enough social problems as it is but he's slipping through the cracks. I never evne saw his last report card last year. I'm not sure his mom did until the middle of July or something either. I don't get it. I don't hold him responsible for that, I hold the mom he lives with responsible. I only see him one night a week and in that 24 hour period I know I give him for love and attention than he gets the other 6 days combined. I'm by no means perfect, sometimes I let him watch TV for hours or zone out on his PSP but I am always aware and I always make a point to change things up. From Friday night to Saturday afternoon we have focus, a routine and nothing but quality time. He struggles with reading, he is getting pushed through school without learning basic things. I go nuts when I ask him simple questions and don't get a response because he doesn't know. So I talk to him and tell him the answer and now we go to the library once a month for books and we set aside one hour for reading every Saturday morning before he goes to flag football. His mom always used to rant to me that I ruined her quiet little boy with video games and Wrestling but while there is some truth to me turning him on to these things I never once saw her in the 4 years we were together take the time to do what i'm doing now that we aren't. It's so simple really. He's not even against it I thought he might be. He enjoys the books. All I do is come into the living room and ask him if he is ready to read. I tell him it is entirely up to him when he does it but we aren't going to get to Football if he doesn't do it. Another thing is you don't say read and then run off to the other room and ignore the kid. I grab a book (I rarely read but have started to show him it's not punishment to read and that even I need to do it order to feed the brain) and sit down on the other side of the couch and we both quietly read for a good 45-60 minutes. I also didn't want him to watch the clock so there is no time limit on it. It's been going so fantastic. We also go to the park and play football for about the same amount of time or until he gets tired or bored.
His mom's new boyfriend most definitely spends more time with him than she does as well. We all get along really well but I know i'm very passive aggressive. Even though I appreciate how well we all get along and that I get to stay in Connor's life I have a lot of resentment and I don't do much in the area of confronting issues like that head on so on Saturday AM the three of us sit there together watching flag football. It's an odd situation indeed but one I created and a lot of my issues in the child situation come from resentment and lack of a spine. I failed at ever communicating my displeasure in the relationship and as far as setting terms upon our break up. I remember moving out and her flipping out about how I was going to continue to be there for Connor and I was so happy to be done with living there that I didn't even know how to say "hey, I don't know how this all works and it's shitty but I don't know that i'm prepared to still be in this kids life" I mean, how do you say that? Why am I the only person who didn't know how to question this entire thing? It's to the point now where i'm beyond greatful for the situation and I have come to understand the importance of the role I play in his life and I wouldn't trade it for the world but there is most definitely another part of me that I struggle with that makes me feel like the worst person in the entire world for ever even considering some alternative or not being in his life at all. That's huge. I look around and I don't have any peers who I know that do what I do. Nobody is in my situation. Not one of my friend has ever broken up with a girl after a long term relationship and continued to take care of a child that wasn't biologically theirs. So I stress about this situation. When we were together we used to talk about adoption quite a bit and I was in favor of it and she continued that chatter after we broke up but I would blow off the subject. I can live with the current situation but i'm not comfortable with tying myself legally in any way. I don't need her to decide in a year or two that she wants child support or help with this and that. She is not my responsibility. I pay for everything we do each and every weekend but I have no desire to contribute any further so I wonder what happens when this new guy leaves her and she is left for broke. None of these real seroious conversations are easy and mostly we discuss things via text because I admit I am afraid of her reactions to anything and everything. I hate that fear.
Finally, a couple of months ago I told her that we need to sit down and explain to Connor all the questions he hasn't asked or really figured out yet. He's 11 and i'm not going to have this kid resent me later. He doesn't really understand he has a biological father he doesn't know. He doesn't grasp why all of our last names are different and he's been given generic answers by mom. He's confused about stuff. Is it my right to sit him down alone and tell him this stuff and how exactly do I go about it? Jesus this is heavy stuff. Mom seemed to be on board with this idea and we were going to do it over dinner at some point but again, him mom sucks at communication with her son, she sucks at quality time with him as well so I think i'll be waiting forever and I should just have this discussion with im myself. I don't know. It's getting late though and I think he needs to find out much sooner rather than later.
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions and continuing to listen to me blather on about this stuff. This is all really personal, I just hope I don't regret posting all this in the future. Ha.