My youngest son, a teenager, just got back from a 10-day visit from his Dad, my Ex Abuser. My son had two [airplane] flying lessons while there and without my knowledge. I will say that knowledge enraged me temporarily because I am the primary parent in his custody. I would have had to provide consent, but I’m sure the airport was not aware of that, so I do not blame them or hold them responsible. Also, they had no idea that he is on the Autism Spectrum, as his father will not ever admit to that fact. I do not think he isn’t capable, I just believe that the instructor pilot should have been made aware. If a crisis happened, for example, he can shut down completely. This is due, in part, to being on the Spectrum AND partially due to surviving abuse.
Once I got over that shock, my Ex texted me telling me that he wanted our nearly sixteen-year-old son to continue the flying lessons, with him proclaiming that he would fully pay for that endeavor. Before reacting, I decided to stop, take a breath, and ask my child what HE wanted. I reserved my judgment until I heard straight from him.
I asked what he wanted to do and I got this reply: “Yeah, sure, the two lessons were neat, but it’s not something I want to do right now.” I made him promise me that he wasn’t saying that because he thought it was what I wanted to hear, and he assured me he wasn’t. I told him that he was nearly sixteen years old and it would be similar to driving a car. He gave me a sober look and said, “Yeah, except that “car” is thousands of miles up and can fall out of the sky and kill you!” Okay, the kid has a point. Whew! Relief!
I was initially wary, too, because my Ex is a narcissist and does a few things consistently with our kids. 1.) He projects his wants and desires on them, not listening to what it is that they want and to discuss openly; and 2.) he has a proven track record, that is, not seeing things through and not continuing to pay for obligations that he gets our kids into, making it to where I have to continue paying for the issue at hand. Flying lessons are massively out of my realm of being able to continue to pay. I’m SO relieved that my son said what he said. Again, such relief!
Needless to say, my son and I agreed on getting him through high school, getting him a driver’s license and a car, and finding him a job. That, to us, is manageable and realistic! Love and light!