Sunday, August 29, 2010

Project 365: Day 29 - Band Aids......

Sometimes single parents over compensate to make up for the fact that their time spent with their children has been forcefully reduced. We take them to McDonald's too often, we buy them toys and surprises more than usual, we shower them with gargantuan amounts of affection (my personal favorite). All in an effort to cover up a situation that may be difficult for them to fully understand, the broken-family band aid, I like to call it. If we place this band aid just so, then maybe they won't notice the separation as much.

But they notice. I knew a long time ago that my husband and I would separate. I put it off as long as I possibly could. But we weren't getting any younger. And the kids certainly were not either. I'm glad that I made the decision to leave when I did. The boys were a little over four years old. They would understand to a certain degree, but if we did it while they were still young, then maybe the event wouldn't affect them as much as it would if they were, say, 6 or 8 or 10. It was the right decision. It's true what they, "kids are resilient." And they are.

They understood far quicker than I ever thought they would. They were referring to their "two homes" even before I was. They knew "mama's house" and "daddy's house" and they knew it would never be one home again. But they were ok with it. It was so much harder on me than it ever was on them. It still is.

BUT every now and then one of the boys will display an emotional outburst, a public showing of distress the separation has created. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it breaks my heart into a million pieces so small, that I'm certain once I put it back together several pieces are still missing. Never to be found again. And when this happens, I almost feel as if I've spoken too soon. "Ah, my boys are doing great." "They're adjusting very well." "They are young enough to adapt easily." So, what I've learned is..... that it doesn't matter when you do it. It affects them at every age. Hell, there are things that my birth mother did to me at age 1 that I truly believe shaped parts of my personality today.

So even though my argument for separating sooner rather than later has taken an about face, my final objective will always remain the same: to love my boys with all my heart and help them to understand that everything I do, everything I am, everything that is me, is because of and belongs to them.

Sometimes the band aids are more for me than they are for them.

29 of 365: Smiles and blue skies need no band aids....

Good Night All!