Monday, December 17, 2007
This year has been taxing on my little man, Kaleb. The divorce has been hardest on him, and in just a few short months he’s matured more than I’d like to admit. My toothless wonder is more reflective, thoughtful, and introspective.
Last week was the most difficult of my life. I won’t drag you through the details—suffice it to say that ending a marriage is a painful, difficult, and often, ugly thing. On Tuesday night I placed my kids in front of the TV and shut myself in the nearby empty playroom to talk with my Mom. It wasn’t long before I was sobbing uncontrollably, wiping snot from the faceplate while trying not hyperventilate. Kaleb walked in.
At that exact moment I realized that while my children have seen their mother cry (in a dainty, dab-a-tissue-at-the-corner-of-my-eyes kinda way) they’ve never seen me broken like that, incoherent and hiccupping with emotion.
He stood in the doorway, stunned. “Why are you crying, Mom?”
“Mommy’s just sad,” I said. (Why I speak in third-person like this, even to my six-year old, I don’t know.)
He continued to ask that same question, over and over, letting me know that being sad wasn’t answer enough.
Finally I said, “Sometimes mommy and daddy don’t agree about important things.”
There, I’d said it. In my least-rational, weakest moment I had told my child that his father and I weren’t currently on the same page, in fact, I was doubtful we were even in the same book. I got off the phone and we muddled through the next few days. Somehow.
On Friday the ex picked Kaleb up from school and asked how he could be a better father. His answer? Not, buy me a video game, let me have my own bedroom, or even play catch with me more.
“Don’t make Mom cry.” That was his answer.
And later, when I asked him how I could be a better mom he said, “Get along with Dad.”
Profound in a simple, innocent way.
And absolutely heartbreaking.