my relationship with my stepdaughter elissa is one of the two more difficult relationships i have with my children. (the other's with my son, jamie, whose behavior reminds me of his father more frequently than i care to remember him.)
in elissa's case, the lion's share of the fault - if there is one - lies in my opinion on her mother, who encouraged elissa to despise her father for no reason other than he chose not to remain married to her mother. on the other hand, i arrived with not just one rival, but four for her father's affections. never made to share anything, elissa was understandably puzzled when the demands on her father's heart quintupled. how could there possibly be enough left for her? the child's fear of abandonment coupled with the mother's need for revenge ignited a fire that i fear will continue to smolder long into elissa's adulthood.
or maybe not.
last night, she came over with two friends to celebrate her twenty-second birthday. over cake - an especially pretty cake in just her favorite flavor that caught my eye the other day at shaw's - she casually mentioned to her friends that "anne can talk to dead people."
i was tired. i really didn't want to be a party game. this sort of thing makes Beloved particularly uncomfortable - he always looks for the exits if the conversation takes a serious veer into the psychic. but her friends looked like sweet girls, girls who wanted to look a little tougher than they actually were - just like elissa. and there were so many bright young spirits around the one who looked at me with eyes as wide and liquid as bambi's.
well, whoever would've thought that, said Beloved, when they left two hours later. elissa spent two hours here on her birthday and most of them with YOU.
i guess stranger things have happened somewhere.
and furthermore the war must end. blessed be.