So apparently Tommy won't be arriving till next weekend, because there is no money to buy him another ticket until then. He was on the phone to me this morning (small mercies - it was great to hear his voice), apologizing and making excuses for his father.
In my experience, when a kid has a parent who prioritises their wellbeing below other things that the parent considers to be more important (work, alcohol, another kid or their own interests for example), one of two things happens to the kid. Either the kid grows up constantly trying to get the parent's attention/love and ends up with a pretty crappy self-image and an unrealistic view of said parent (Dad is god and I'm not worthy).. or, the kid sees the parent for the useless fuck he really is, which leads being unable to have respect for said parent and the realisation that all the stuff they felt as a small child was utter bollocks and the parent was actually incapable of real love. Usually kids who go this way end up choosing not to have a relationship with the parent in question. Either way leads to a world of pain for the kid. I've observed this many times working with teenagers.
I know there's nothing I can do to change the way things are going. Normally I'm all about personal responsibility and letting people learn their own stuff their own way, but when it's my son, I turn into Mama Bear and I just want to protect him from the evils of the world. He's a good kid. His head is screwed on. He knows I love him. None of this is his fault, he didn't ask for it, so why does he have to live with the consequences of it?
Anyway, I get a week less with him, so it's up to me to make sure that the time we do get is filled with good healthy stuff and positive demonstrations of how life doesn't have to be the way it's role-modelled to him at home. That's about the only thing I can think of to do.
I picked up orders for two portraits this morning. Rock! ;-)