In short, there were issues with the plane tickets my DSS's Mom sent, for him to visit her for Spring Break. DH truly bent over backward, trying to work with her and compromise where he could - looking up and telling her about acceptable alternate tickets (even tickets that would've given her MORE time with DSS) and offering to pay for them. She has refused to change them, even though DH told her that he won't put DSS on the plane for the visit, if she doesn't. By the time Mom told DH about the plane tickets, there was insufficient time for court intervention. But DH himself is pursuing action through the courts and we feel pretty confident that no reasonable person could penalize him, for how he's handled this.
IOW, I'm not looking to debate whether or not we should send DSS, but interested in feedback on how to discuss it with him.
DSS has been aware of his parents' basic disagreement about the plane tickets, for about 2 weeks (as long as we've been aware of it). He has told DH that he actually agrees with his position, but isn't comfortable telling his mom that and would rather the parents just decide and leave him out of it. However, I often suspect that DSS just tells both parents what he thinks will please them and that we just don't know what he really thinks, when it comes to disagreements btwn. DH and Mom.
Although DSS's SB began this past Thursday, Mom doesn't have him scheduled to fly out to her until Monday. So it kind of feels - to all of us - like things are in limbo, until then. She might still change the tickets. And she probably believes DH might still break down and send DSS, even if she doesn't.
Right now, DSS seems completely unconcerned about it. We jumped on the chance to have him at least this first weekend of SB (Mom gets SB every year) and have taken him and a friend out of town. They're having tons of fun (I'm typing this between visiting the zoo and going to a movie) and he hasn't said a word about going to CA. But we haven't planned anything for the coming week, in case Mom came through and changed his tickets. Most of his friends will either be out of town or still in school - including his older brothers. I expect he will feel bad about not seeing his Mom - and feel bad for her, because she'll be upset. I also expect he will not bring this up on his own. My question is, should I?
And should I stick to platitudes ("It's not your fault. Your parents just disagree. They both want what they think is best for you. Just try to trust that and stay out of it."), or give him some info. that would actually help him process this - but that can't help but make his mother look bad? I am always aware that I shouldn't bad-mouth his mother, to (or in front of) him. But this is absolutely not a situation where his parents are being equally stubborn, at his expense. His mother - and only his mother - is standing on a principle I think most people would disagree with and which, regardless, should NEVER be more important to her than making sure she sees DSS.
I feel at some point, someone has to suggest to him that she struggles with some personality/mental health issues that get in the way of her making the right choices where he's concerned, even though I know she loves him. Of course, I'm posting this because I realize there's an argument to be made that the "someone" shouldn't be me. But, then, who? DH tells him what's going on and listens to him, but he's much more comfortable than I am, just leaving kids to figure out the "why" of things, on their own. I think DSS could lose a lot of time in his life, trying to understand his mother on his own.
Edited by VocalMinority - 3/29/12 at 2:33pm