Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Mommy-Nick Date Night
"Momma, I wish you and Daddy were still married."
I knew this was coming. I could see the cogs in his head turning, day after day, trying to wrap his head around what was going on. It was the very reason I thought an evening one-on-one with my six-year-old was important.
"Yeah baby? How come?"
He frowned, thinking, then shrugged. "I dunno. I just do."
The fact that he didn't see his father and I together much in his six short years isn't the point. Its that "mommy and daddy being married" is what he knew. And now its different.
"Well, you know Momma loves you very much, right? And we have fun together." He nodded. "And you know Daddy loves you very much. You have fun with him, too, right?" More nodding.
"Mommies and Daddies never stop loving their kids," I told him, all the while knowing that in some sad cases this wasn't true. In our case, however, it would never be anything but the truth, and I knew it was something of which he needed to be reassured.
We were sitting at a local burger place at an outside table so as to be near our bikes. We had ridden them from my apartment less than half a mile away, a bike ride being his activity of choice after accepting the fact that we couldn't fit water skiing into a Tuesday evening. We breathed in the summer air and watched the fat bumble bees busy among the flowers in the planter while we waited for our food to be served.
He made me laugh as he came up with one "what if" scenario after another, posing hypothetical questions about his brother, his toys, his life and God. He wiggled his two loose teeth while we talked.
"Does that make you sad? That Mommy and Daddy aren't married any more?" I asked a bit later.
Swinging his feet on the stone bench, he poured his little heart out to me.
"Hmmm...sometimes I cry and I'm sad. But sometimes I'm not." The thought that I was making my child cry was undoubtedly upsetting. But the "sometimes not" was encouraging. It shows me that he's developing a survivor's ability to adapt to his new life that I can only think will serve him well.
"Well I certainly hope you're not sad anymore. There's no need to be sad!" We began to list together all the things that were happy and good in his life -- both at my house and Daddy's. It was a pretty long list!
We wrapped up our evening with ice cream cones and a trip to the park. Next time we have a Mommy-Nick date night we'll have to do it on a Saturday...you know...when there's hope of having enough time to go water skiing.