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LevinaFia23's picture

It's not May but how time is flying it'll be here soon enough. How has graduations gone for you all? Curious to hear any stories or even tips on how to deal. Ss will be graduating from elementary heading to 6th. I'd like to hear k5, elem. High school or even college if there were experiences how'd it go with the bio parents and families? 

Haven't brought this up to dh yet as he's the type to need to know closer to time or he'd forget. I am curious to see his opinion. This can also include extra curriculurs. So far bm is not aware that ss is in therapy or attends book club or interested in band next yr. I think he doesn't want the chaos as much as we don't so even he doesn't mention it. I'm wondering if she'd be added to this graduation. I have a stronger feeling she would be as it is a big occasion. What do you all think?

Cover1W's picture

I went to OSDs "elementary graduation". B M was there but I didn't sit next to her, DH did, but it was ok. This was before the PAS began. It was ok, no biggie. Kinds ridiculous really. OSD made fun of it afterwards.

I didn't go to YSDs. I don't remember why. Likely because that was closer to the PAS starting.

I did not attend OSDs middle school grad. Neither DH or I were invited.  DH went anyway (open seating). OSD literally ran from him when he tried to talk with her and he gave her gift to BM who just shrugged her behavior off. YSD didn't have a middle school grad because of covid.

Neither of us were invited to OSD high school grad. DH considered going, but no ticket and location was atrocious, and it was HUGE and impersonal. 

YSDs grad will be this May. No idea what will happen. I put money on me not being invited.  Which is fine with me. YSD could also decide to not walk knowing her.

If it's a big event it's easy to avoid conflict.

LevinaFia23's picture

I understand if we weren't primary I probably wouldn't be going either. And very true since it's big it should be easy to avoid bm. The few times I saw her in person I spoke no words or looked her way. Was pretty easy so can predict the same if that happens. Good point

Rags's picture

Geherally, IMHO, there are only two legit graduations. HS and college.  Maybe one for Grad school or locally specific transitions celebrated with a graduation ceremony.   Kindergarten, elementary, etc..... are not graduations. They are delusional recognition of non events.

I had 4.  School went through only 9th grade where I was raised. So, 9th grade graduation.  After that, kids left home to attend HS either at boarding schools or to live with family in another country for HS.  I had 4.  Jr High, HS graduation, college graduation, and Grad school graduation (I did not attend that one).  My DW had 4.  HS, college, grad school, and CPA swearing in ceremony.  We met her first year of University.

IMO recognizing what are nonevents with graduation ceremonies cheapens actual accomplishments.  Having a graduation for non accomplishments is just a ridiculous expansion of the everyone gets a trophy societal collapse.  Trophies go to those who actually perform.  Graduations should be for actual accomplishments.

When did finishing Kindergarten or 5th grade become a thing of recognition?  Back in the day, the last day of every school year was celebrated with kids running out of schools and diving into summer activities.  

That said,  SS's has had two graduations.  HS and USAF Basic Training. HIs HS graduation was not a particularly upbeat event.  Getting him to that point was a battle.  We flew my ILs out and I asked my parents to come for that graduation.  Not one comment on it from anyone in the shallow and polluted end of the Skid's genepool.  No card, no phone call, no one attended.  Because of the tension around the last year of HS, we planned nothing.  I picked up a graduation cake on my way home from the ceremony.  After dinner, at a local restaurant, we had cake and icecream on graduation disposable plates, etc...  We gave him his gift at that point.  Cash.  Not an insignificant amount.  $1500.  That cash was for him to use over the summer tuntil his 18th B-day to travel, visit friends, do stuff.  If he was with us, we of course covered his part of that cost.  He did have his final SpermLand visitation as he had not yet turned 18.  Interestingly, he came home from that visitation with every penny of his graduation money.  He did not tell them about it, he did not pay for anything when he was on his final SpermLand visitation.  By then he was well versed in their incessent attempts to take his visitation travel money and our methods of locking that money down to prevent them from taking it from him.

His graduation from USAF BMT was wonderful.  It was a year after HS graduation. It was a wonderful positive step for him and a wonderful positive event.  We flew my ILs in, his mom and I were there, and my parents were there.  Again, not a peep out of the SpermClan.  Other than they started tying to guilt SS into repaying them for the 16+ years of CS they paid to support him.  They pushed their final attempt to guilt him over all of the wonderful things in life he had that his three younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs did not.  That was when he really freed himself from their crap.  He wrote them off when they started that crap.

We have been to some of his promotion ceremonies over the 13 years he has been in the USAF.  We will go to more as he continues that career.  Again.... crickets from the SpermClan.

IMHO there are any number of influences that sets the tone for a graduation.  Respond to those accordingly.  

Enjoy graduations. The real ones anyway.  Participation by the blended family opposition is irrelevant.  If they participate reasonably, great.  If they do not partisipate.  Also great though that can be hurful to the Skid.  If they participate toxically, bare their ass, and make it abundantly clear that if they do not STF up and engage calmly while focusing on the kid's accomplishment,  that the police will be called and they will be confronted officially.  Make sure they then understand that their detracting from the event will never be allowed ot be swept under the rug and the kid will always know.

IMHO of course.

LevinaFia23's picture

Yes I agree the younger graduations hardly make sense. I guess I'm mainly speaking on the event itself. Not really the after celebration. Anytime we celebrate anything for SS it's always been completely separate bc bm can not and will not agree to anything and it's 100% sure she will cause a scene so we stay far away from her when there's no force there. 

This would be the first graduation and she's just....anytime she thinks she knows somethings happening she HAS to involve herself bc she's so excluded from everything we do in the first place. She literally has no idea abt his extra curriculurs just for thus reason. Sucks but ss isn't complaining that she's not around.

U do make a point that hey internally he may be hurt. Birthday's and holidays are completely separate so he gets 1 from us and who knows what she does with him. But yea with graduation just her knowing there will be one she will probably want to attend. We just need to block all efforts for her trying to share anytime or space. If she wants time with him that day...I hadn't thought about she should have that time but everything has been easily separate so far so idk what we'd do in the cases where a 1 time event can't rly be split unless we jus give in and let her have it like we used to do bdays and just celebrated when we could before or after. 

That's good to hear how your skid seems to have appreciated his upbringing with you all. I'm believing even at 10yo SS can see the stark diff of dh and bm households and understanding what "off" is.

Rags's picture

I would not tolerate a joint celebration or joint attendance.  In  your case BM, can sit in a different section at the graduation.  If she chooses to do a celebration on her time, fine.

We never had any drama on this type of thing as the SpermClan was not involved in his real life.   The benefits of long distance visitation and in being the CP household with full physical and legal custody.  

I am sure being in a local visitation schedule situation or some 50/50 custody situation is a nightmare campared to our blended family experience.  We are approaching 14yrs since he aged out from under the CO and less than 8wks from the 13th anniversary of him launching into self supporting adulthood.

He is a good man.  His mom and I are very proud of the man we raised together.

notarelative's picture

Elem graduations here are not graduations in the high school sense. There are no tickets. No caps. No gowns. They are held in the lunch room late morning. Principal speaks. Students each get a certificate of K5 completion. Someone from the middle school gives them a welcome speech. Then most go home with a parent.

Elem graduations are not a big deal unless a parent makes it one. Seats are not reserved. You don't have to sit with or near the ex. I would not stress about it. If you want to go, and need to know the date,  the only difficulty may be finding it out. Here, the date is set as the last day of school. If there are weather days, that can change.

LevinaFia23's picture

I guess I should start that we are the primary parents and for bm to lose primary....she's pretty ridiculous when it comes to anything she can overreact or make a scene out of. If we weren't primary I wouldn't really care so early but we are so it's kind of anticipating what she's gonna do or ask around that time. But very true not too much concern or issue can happen in that situation. Now I'm curious to know how this is set up. But yea im thinking this may be easier than thought.


Just last weekend...she made a big deal about dh not telling her ss tooth was loose...seriously...she will grab at ANYTHING to feel relevant in some way so I could see her pulling some dumb crap for his graduation. No matter how small she always needs some way to get dh attention and he ignores her 98% of the time so when she does get a response...its Neverending. I guess I'm dreading her having a reason coming up to interact lol. It's been great the past few yrs not having any forced nteraction with her lol :/

notarelative's picture

If you are curious about the set up, call the school and ask. They may not know the date yet, but  schools don't usually change how these things work from year to year. They should be able to tell you what they usually do.

Harry's picture

And sit by yourselfs.  No need for long conversation with BM.   No joint party. Or event. You can do it in the weekend.  You are going to face this in the future.  So setting and prattling boundaries now is a good thing.  Like you already  understand. There's events.... Religious. ... High, college graduation.  ...Weddings, ...GK..... Events in the future. 

So setting the tone now will help in the future.  Getting over the fact that BM most like,y will not be paying for the event but gets the credit is another  pill to swallow 

LevinaFia23's picture

I like that you mention this sets the tone. This is maybe why I'm kinda overthinking it. The way we've done holidays and birthdays have followed each yr so since graduation is a new one, the way we go about it is gonna be important for future times also. Very true

And the other occasions even more so in the future. With him wanting to start band next yr and possibly sports and other things, more and more of these joint type events will come where bm will be unavoidable as she has been in the past few yrs. Hm something to think abt for sure. Fortunately dh is always down for my suggestions and he agrees the less interaction route is always best. 

We're kinda used to paying for things alone as she's not paid a single dime for ss since we got him primarily going on 3 yrs now. It's been kinda worth the sanity but in the future as things get pricier it can become a nuisance I'm sure. But for now it's given more peace than issues to just always bite the bullet so far..something to think abt future wise tho yes

Rags's picture

+Keeping the toxic opposition contained and in their place tends to be my recommended default.  As for BM not paying, get to court and get her on a Child Support order.  Even in the event that it is a pittance, a kid should be supported by both of their parents.

The SpermClan's CS level was $110/mo initially then increased to $133/mo for 9+ years.  We never needed the money, though we felt it ws important that SS know that his Spermidiot/SpermClan was participating in his support.  They made sure to bang that drum hard and sadly used it as a PAS element with SS.  According to the SpermClan that pittance in CS bought us nice new homes regularly, new vehicles, paid for expensive vacations, and .... took food out of the mouths of my SS's three younger also out of wedlock half sibs by two other baby mamas.

We highlighted to him that they paid the COd support which was ordered my a Judge and as such was the law.  The SpermClan tried to guilt SS into begging his mom to drop the CS requirement.  We stuck to the CO.

Kids need to know how it works, they need to see the NCP side providing support, and they need to see the CP side defending the Skid;s best interests.

As for interface between us and the SpermClan, there was as near to zero as is possible.  The only person who had interface with them was SS per the COd visitation schedule.  When they actually excercised that visitation.  Over the course of the 16+ years we lived under the CO their were multiple periods of a year or more that they refused all visitation.  During those periods, SS kept on living his real life and we kept our REAL family life rolling along.

Get BM on the hook for child support. She owes a duty of support to her child.

All IMHO of course.

LevinaFia23's picture

I agree however dh doesn't. Bm stares clearly she has no money and she's not working. Dh doesn't wanna go back and forth with her or cause any further issues. He likes having 0 interaction and he believes putting her on CS would only cause issues and more reason to talk to her. She plays the victim extremely well and we can only imagine how much she'd go on and on about dh making her pay when she has 4 kids and single. All of this her fault of course and I don't feel sorry but I also don't feel like fighting with dh on it. He'd love to see bm in jail or get upset of paying as she gave dh aloooot of bs the 8yrs he'd pay every month on time. If ir were a day after the first she was texting him about it. Nonstop every single month for months on end. He'd start sending it later and later in the month but that only dragged her texting. I don't mine any of this but dh seems to want not a thing to do with her. 

Once again I completely agree with you to just put her on CS bc that is her duty as a parent. He just doesn't think it's worth it, even the correct principle of it. Idk how this works if he never put her onn it etc but I am curious lately. Irs been almost 3 yrs and she's not spent anything. She asked every yr for ss supply list...its online. So she asks and either gets him nothing from the list or sends random items that weren't on there. That's literally all he's gotten in the past 3 yrs. Some random school items one yr and none were on the list dh sent. It's all a game to her.

I do believe he's came close when she's said and done odd things but maybe he's waiting for a big reason esp if she's working etc. I have no idea but I'm not banking on it after 3 yrs. I gave up on that point rly after thr 1st yr. He thought about it said maybe he'll come back to it. So I left it alone :/ for now I guess the good thing is we really do hear from her alot less