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.