It seem like an innocuous drive. We were headed to Marina Park to get some sun and play. I mean, it’s been over six weeks since the sun shined for more than a few hours.
“I hope Daddy gets that job.” My daughter said sweetly.
“Oh yea. Why is that?” I asked.
“So I can see him more often. I haven’t seen him at all this year. I miss him and once you guys are divorced, I’ll never see him again. “
Boom! Ouch that hurts. She went on further to explain about her two friends who have no mom. One lost their mom to divorce. The other to death.
I couldn’t believe she’d come to this conclusion through her own reasoning. I know that she is incredibly precocious but this was beyond anything I fathomed at her age.
After all, I am a child of divorce. My parents divorced earlier in my life. My father was absent but the realization later in life just made me fantasize about who my father was. It hadn’t left me with such a deep, well reasoned fear.
Where I dreamt of my dad and I reuniting someday; she reasoned that divorce would cut him out of her life.
I hadn’t prepared myself for these types of issues. This need for reassurance. I thought surely the fact that her dad and I hadn’t lived together in her lifetime would make it easier. She wouldn’t see a gap. Just a finalization to the way it’s always been. I realized I oversimplified the process in my own head.
I had been asking age appropriate questions about what she wanted to see out of this divorce. Number one on her list was for her parents to be nice to each other. My ex isn’t to blame for my impatience for them, but it shows. Every. Single. Time. For that, I certainly shall do better.
But now I stuck with the feeling that as her mom, I may not be able to give her all the tools she needs to be “okay” with this process. So, I suppose it’s time to already engage with a child counselor. She hasn’t acted out in any detrimental way but I can tell it has changed something in her.
As I write this, I wonder how my own mother dealt with her young daughter and me, a toddler after her divorce. Where we angels? Where we happy? Did we think the way my daughter is thinking now? I’d ask but somethings are better unsaid.
I have two boys who are the product of divorce. Both of us are also a product of divorce and we definitely were different back then. I was married for 10 years to their father and by the end we were fighting so much that it was affecting the kids. Which is why we split. For almost a year after we couldn’t stand to be in the same room with each other. It hurt our kids deeply. We saw that and went to counseling because we both realized we didn’t want our kids to grow up the way we did but we also didn’t know any other way. You may have a different strategy but I guess my best advice to you is to constantly reassure her that she will see her dad. She will need that reassurance for awhile, maybe a year, maybe only a few months, maybe longer. Every kid is different but the reassurance from you and from her dad will help her a great deal. Hope this helps.
Thank you for sharing. It always helps to know someone else worked it out.
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This is so well written and touching. Both of my daughters have said similar things and it breaks my heart.
Kerri, I’m sorry for your heart too. It’s tough. We will all make it through.
Awww, this was very touching. Your daughter sounds like a very intelligent star who’s full of ideas and wonder. I’m sure this transition is going to affect her in ways that you may not know until later or that you may never know. But, just the fact that you are being proactive and opening up the dialogue with her is going to work wonders with her. Just keep it up!