“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.” ~ Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
G asked me recently, “Why do you get divorced so much?”
Her question caught me off guard. I answered with another question.
“What do you mean?”
“Well,” she said. “You are divorced from…” her voice trailed off.
We don’t like talking about him. She may be biologically connected to him, but except for that one little fact, there is not much else that connects them.
“… And now you are divorced from…” her voice trailed off again. Although GP and I never married, we were, for all intents and purposes, married in her eyes, as we were engaged and living together as a family.
Our lives were turned upside down last summer with the news
of his affair. It was not easy news for me to take.
It was not easy for her, either. When he broke the news to her, she was angry. She cried and yelled at him. “How could you do this to mama?” she wailed. Big, chunky tears streaked her face.
Although she is aware of the circumstances of what he did, there is a part of her that seems to blame me for the breakup, that perhaps I had a part in making him do what he did.
“All my friends in school have a dad. But I have no dad. Because you get divorced all the time.”
I really didn’t know how to answer her. I felt like she stabbed me. I don’t care so much about what others think of me. But criticism from her – it hurts.
All I could say in response was that someday, when she is older, she will understand. She didn’t seem convinced.
I walked away before she could see that I was struggling to keep my tears from flowing down my face.