Aunt P & I went to a local eatery and enjoyed a breakfast of Eggs Benedict as we caught up. I wanted to make sure my sister knew that we were grateful for her help. I also wanted to make sure we were on the same page about Colin.
While I want to help in any way we can, I don't want to interfere with her parenting. I made it clear that she needs to make the decisions for Colin and only needs to give me the important details. I suggested that if there are issues that she does not want my opinion on, she can choose not to tell me. We have different priorities and parenting styles and I want to avoid arguing with her. I also suggested that we start communicating more by email to avoid unproductive and lengthy conversations. She agreed with me.
On the way back home, we stopped at the grocery store so that she could pick up bread, cheese, lunch meats and other items for Colin. This gave me a chance to pay for them. I went with the flow and let Aunt P pick out brands we don't normally buy at home. My sister thought it was best not to purchase the same things he was used to at home as these would be reminders of his old life which she would not normally buy.
My sister phoned home after we left the grocery store to alert the boys we were coming back. She asked my middle-son if he was ready to go home. They were in the middle of a video game and he wanted to stay a bit longer. She then told him to ask Colin if it would be o.k. if I came inside to wait. The idea was for me to hang out with my sister in another part of the house until my 15 year old was ready to leave. Colin said yes.
When we reached the house, my nephew came rushing to the door. Apparently they tried to call back. Colin had not understood the question and did not want me to set foot into the house. He stormed off and went into hiding. I called out to my 15 year old and told him we needed to leave. NOW!
As we were ready to drive off, Colin was found hiding in the master bathroom. I had sent his brother back in to say goodbye but it was too late; he was now labeled "persona non grata".
There was also an angry exchange that took place between Aunt P and Colin. He was mad that I was out to visit and got my "foot in the door". He saw the groceries and protested that he would not use the lunch items as he knew I bought them. Aunt P fired back that she originally wanted him to buy his lunches at school, that she picked out the groceries and defended her position where I was concerned. She ended up retreating to another part of the house to cool down. I hope my son realizes that he has pushed his aunt to her limits and is smart enough to back down.
While I am grateful that the boys had two hours together, we now realize that we have some unresolved issues for Thanksgiving. We are not sure what will happen but it looks like it is too soon for my husband and I to be under the same roof as Colin. We have two weeks to work it out.....
We are a work-in-progress!