The Hardest Thing

This past weekend, Little Guy and I were having dinner when he asked me again why Ex and I split up.  I explained again that Ex and I had different approaches to life and couldn’t agree on how to continue it together.  I told Little Guy that I didn’t like the way Ex treated me and I didn’t think it was right.  I added that Ex probably felt the same way.

LIttle Guy told me it was hard for him to see us split.  I told him that I knew about that because I had been through my parent’s split when I was a child.  I said it didn’t mean that my parents didn’t love me any less and it didn’t mean that Ex and I didn’t love LIttle Guy to pieces because I do, and he did.  Little Guy said he knew that.

“Do you know what was harder than seeing you two split up, Mom?” LIttle Guy asked.

“What?” I asked with tear running down my face.

“Losing my dad was harder than seeing the two of you split up,” he told me.

He told me that he had read a story that he had written about his dad.  He remembers so much about that time in his life.  It’s not always accurate, but I’m told that’s okay.  I told Little Guy he could write as many stories about his dad as he wanted.

Little Guy said that he was lucky he still had me and that I was still alive.  I couldn’t agree more.  I told him I’m not going anywhere and felt guilty about promising something that I feel is out of my hands, though I’ll do everything in my power to stick around as long as possible.

“Life would be easier with your dad around,” I said.  Dammit, that’s more than true.  Yeah, we might be fighting still, but holy fudgsicles, life would be easier.  I can’t even dwell on it too long, or I’m going to get mad all over again. I know that separated life before Ex died didn’t last long, but I enjoyed the freedom I had when I had it.  I think that’s been the hardest to get used to, the lack of time to myself, yet it feels so natural to never have time to myself.  I guess that means I’ve adjusted well, accepted my reality of full-time parenting.  And some people choose this, and those people I admire!

In 2009, So many people told me that he would forget most of what happened, the split and his dad dying.  So far, he hasn’t, but it’s a big part of his life and little part of mine with a gigantic impact.  Maybe he hasn’t had time to forget, or maybe he has a wrench-like grasp on keeping his memories.  Maybe I am too eager to forget some things and less eager to remember the good stuff, when I should be eager to remember just the good stuff.  I know that I feel grateful for Little Guy’s articulation of how hard he took the loss of his dad.  It felt like a breakthrough to hear more than memories and more than an assumption of his feelings.  I think Little Guy and I are on to something.

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