Tonight he finally asked the question I'd been dreading.
He's asked If and Will you be before. But not this.
Tonight, after picking up the boys from daycare (after six days of absence) and driving them down to Detroit, DramaBoy suddenly asked me, Why are you and Daddy not together?
I've thought about this question, even though I would rather not. I've wondered what to say to a not-quite-four-year-old about this. How does one answer such a question without lying? Without talking way over his head? Without giving him unnecessary information? Without making him see either parent in a bad light? Without avoiding an answer at all?
And there it was, and there he was, and there I was, and it was time to figure it out. No more wondering. No more rehearsing. No more pre-show jitters. The spotlight's on full and the audience is waiting. Cue line.
Well, I said. I paused. Well, Mommy and Daddy had a lot of problems.
And accidents? he asked.
Well, no, not really accidents. Problems. We made some very bad choices.
Why? he asked. Why indeed? I ask myself that all the time.
We were not doing what was right and we were stupid and we made some very bad choices. And Mommy and Daddy hurt each others' hearts very badly.
Sometimes I make bad choices and I hurt my heart, he said. But I don't hurt my heart as bad as you and Daddy did.
That's right. We hurt each others' hearts so bad that even though we are sorry, there was too much hurt already. And, well, sometimes when that happens, when they're so hurt in the heart like that, Mommies and Daddies can't be together anymore.
There was a short silence.
Can I watch TV when I get home? he asked.
Yes, but only if you give me lots of cuddles, I said.
Okay. I will give you cuddles! he said, and there was a touch of joy in his voice.
I wish that would always be enough.
3 years ago