I knew the day would come sooner than later, that I would need to explain to Landyn the dynamic of her family and what makes us different. But not a second later, did I realize that in fact we arn’t different, but unfortunately the norm for so many families. With that being said, and because of her age, I made the choice to hold back initially on talking to Landyn about our current reality. In no means was I trying to paint a false reality for her, but rather go there when the time was right.
So here we are a year later, and life as she knows it has become very clear. At three years old she has pieced together the puzzle. She has a life with Mommy. She has a life with Daddy. She separates the two in her little head. While day to day life with mommy hasn’t changed much, that family dynamic is missing. And she’s aware of this. She is aware that the dinner table is set for two. Family time means her and I. Weekends and holidays are split. Milestones are recognized separately.
To say this whole reality is difficult, is an understatement. And I struggle. I struggle attending school functions alone in the presence of all the other happy families. I struggle not having control of the influences he brings into my child’s life. I struggle with discipline as a single parent. I struggle with sharing time. I struggle with guilt that my child has to be subjected to a broken home.
So I held off on “the talk” as long as I could. Until she asked that is…
You see, since Landyn was 4 months old, we have been a part of a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group at our local church. Chris and I were never big church goers, but I knew from day one that I wanted a steady flow of God in my child’s life. This group was like therapy to me and each time I would pick up Landyn from the Mopetts childcare, she was glowing with Jesus’s love. As a Mom, there is nothing better. Being involved in MOPS, led me to participate in other things at the church such as a divorce recovery class….GASP! This was a huge step for me, as I swallowed some pride and stepped foot into a room with 30 other individuals in my exact same shoes. The point I am trying to get at is, no matter the reason I drive into the Calvary Community Church parking lot, Landyn’s face lights up and she proclaims we are going to MOPS. And usually, whether I’m really there for MOPS or not, I go with it, because to her there is no difference. She is in the same classroom with the same toys and the same teachers. That, and I wasn’t ready to tell her Mommy was going to “divorce class”. Until last week that is….
“Mommy we arn’t going to MOPS, it’s dark outside and MOPS is during the daytime”.
“Why you are right, sweet girl”.
“Where are you going Mommy”?
“Why, I would love to tell you Landyn”.
I unstrapped her out of her car seat, hopped in the car beside her, and she got onto my lap. I took a deep breath, quickly prayed for all the right words, and looked into her innocent eyes. I explained…
“Mommy and Daddy live in two separate houses because we couldn’t get along”. “We tried really, really hard, but decided it was best if we lived apart so there was no more fighting”. “Mommy and Daddy love you very much and that will never change”. “Tonight I am going to a class with other Mommy’s and Daddy’s that live apart”.
“OK Mommy”, as tears well up in her eyes.
“Does that make you sad”?
“You know Mommy loves you very much Landyn, and you are a very lucky girl because you get TWO houses”.
She knods her head.
I explained and consoled her as best I could, while fighting back the tears. That moment was a complete crossroads in parenthood. A moment I will forever carry with me and file into priceless in the memory bank. It was a bittersweet “talk” that I dreaded having, but knew was so pivotal to her childhood. And while I may have delayed it, I knew it would happen when the timing was right. I wanted Landyn to fully understand what her reality looked like. I wanted to paint the picture for her before I went there. Had we had this talk a year ago, the awareness would not have been there. A can of worms would have opened that I’m not sure I was prepared to handle. His timing was right.
LeeLaLa is on: