Thursday, June 3, 2010

Odds and Evens









I can see the school bus approaching the tip of our driveway as I hold my hand up over my eyes to help block out the sun.


In a minute, there's the distinctive braking screech of it coming to a halt. The loud, air-compressed doors open wide and my son is quickly exhaled out.


His eyes dart back and forth to do a quick search for me.


He knows I’m there even if he doesn’t see me right away.


Ah, there I am and he breaks out into a wide smile.


He runs.


I catch him in a gigantic mama bear hug and notice that he clings a little bit harder than usual.


“So how was your day sweet boy?” I ask savoring the extra squeeze.


“Mathew just told everyone on the bus that his mommy and daddy won’t be husband and wife anymore.”


Oh.


“You mean they are getting a divorce?”


“Yeah and Mathew is really sad. Where is he going to go?”


Oh my.


“I’d imagine that he’d go with either his mommy or his daddy. That will be up to them to decide.”


“You mean like rock, paper, scissors?”


“Yeah, kinda like that”


“Why can’t they be husband and wife anymore?”


eeesshhh.


“I don’t know honey.... Blah Blah Blah...comforting-things-you-say-to-make-kids-feel-better-about-stuff-you-can't-explain...blah blah.”


“I don’t want you and daddy to ever do rock, paper, scissors o.k.?”


“O.K.”



I know.


OMG. Right?



Now while I do my best to not ever have to play Rock, Paper, Scissors with my husband, I can easily relate to both sides of this coin.


Growing up, the only time I saw a mother and father in the same room together was when Carol and Mike Brady were on TV.


I personally had a much stronger tie to Shirley Partridge as she was more like my own single mother....without the singing band, blond hair, cool bus and stuff.


Plus I had a mad crush on Keith Partridge.


But even if I'd grown up and married Keith, Greg or George Glass, there still would have been no guarantees right?


Hey, what ever happened to that bus?









55 comments:

inannasstar on June 4, 2010 at 4:52 AM said...

Man, that's hits hard doesn't it? Kids teach us so much don't they?

In3Dee on June 4, 2010 at 5:23 AM said...

Damn. What a thing for a kid to have to worry about. And the way he asked you to never play that... I about cried.

Simply Suthern on June 4, 2010 at 5:31 AM said...

It is amazing what the kids come home with. It is a mix of truth and fantasy with a bit of uncertainty thrown in. A lot of it is also so sad. You are right tho. We could learn a lot from them.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick on June 4, 2010 at 5:55 AM said...

George Glass!!!! Ha!!!!

Gillian on June 4, 2010 at 6:00 AM said...

Its heartbreaking to have to tell that story to a little one.

I hope I never have to do that

Daffy on June 4, 2010 at 6:15 AM said...

I love it when you post in purple.

Shell on June 4, 2010 at 6:20 AM said...

What a thing for a little one to worry about. :(

Though, when my parents separated when I was in 5th grade, I was the ONLY kid in my grade who didn't live with both parents. I remember feeling so alone.

But, it's sad that it's so common now.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs on June 4, 2010 at 6:56 AM said...

Reality bites -- a lot of the time! Sorry your kiddo had to be hit square in the face (and heart) with it at such an early age.

I'm with ya on the divorced family. I always thought it was weird to visit friends who had both a mom AND a dad living at home.

My husband and I play rock, scissors, paper all the time ... but keep saying "okay, 3 out of 5 ... 5 out of 7 ... 27 out of 30" because neither of us wants to concede the win to the other! We've been doing that for nearly 30 years now (and have been married the longest out of both our families, including both sets of parents -- and their second marriages -- the five siblings on his side and six siblings on mine). Refusing to let your opponent win makes for an enduring marriage. :o)

Corinne on June 4, 2010 at 7:30 AM said...

WOW!

Lanita on June 4, 2010 at 7:43 AM said...

I rock, paper, scissors with my husband, but only for things like who takes out the garbage and who cleans the kitchen...not for the big stuff.

Quirkyloon on June 4, 2010 at 8:57 AM said...

Eeek.

Life can be so messy. And you are correct, no guarantees.

(Well ain't I a jar of cheer this mornin'!)

*grin*

Lauren on June 4, 2010 at 9:02 AM said...

I think going with "blah, blah, blah" was the best approach. Throwing in a few "yada, yada's" also couldn't hurt. A tough thing for a kid to hear and absorb.

As far as the Partridge bus is concerned, YouTube holds the answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hVBfRCwNyM

Warning: The video may make you nauseous on so many levels.

LucyCooper on June 4, 2010 at 9:08 AM said...

Oh, yikes. Haven't had to cover that one yet myself, but it's hard when they get to the age when you have to start explaining the hard stuff about life. We've been wading into stranger danger, which opens many, many a worm can.

The Single Mothers Chronicles on June 4, 2010 at 9:53 AM said...

Oh yikes. There is just no good answer. My daughter has another 8 year old friend whose parents are getting divorced and she'll "advise & comfort" her now that she's the experienced one! It goes something like this: "well you'll still them but they aren't divorced yet so don't worry. And they both said they'll get a room for you - so you'll have two rooms like I do. It'll be fine, see me?

It's sad and sweet at once.
Swati

MamaTink on June 4, 2010 at 10:08 AM said...

My kids found it more upsetting that their cousin would be a casualty of divorced parents, than their own selves being part of the nightmare (which they already had gone through.)

Tiffany on June 4, 2010 at 11:37 AM said...

perhaps i should start a book of child-friendly answers to awkward, inexplicable questions so when the time comes i'll be prepared. i kind of suck on the spot.

Aging Mommy on June 4, 2010 at 12:48 PM said...

That's a hard conversation to have - children once they get to a certain age and realize not everything they are familiar with in life is set in concrete start to worry. All you can do is reassure them I think, as best you can.

MiMi on June 4, 2010 at 1:18 PM said...

Oh geez, that's so sad. My kids haven't approached me with that question yet.

ReformingGeek on June 4, 2010 at 1:36 PM said...

Keith Partridge! Yeah, baby!

Poor kiddo.

Oh. Are parents supposed to be in the same room?

Oops.

J. L. W. on June 4, 2010 at 1:55 PM said...

That is a tough conversation to have. I love the rock, paper, scissors analogy though. It is hard for little ones when they realize that sometimes things happen that they have no control over.

Mama Gayle on June 4, 2010 at 2:58 PM said...

-Yep, you are right, no matter what anyone says or promises you, there are no guarantees....
-I heard a quote one time, "It takes 2 to say I do, only 1 to say I don't."
Not fair if you ask me..
-Since I am divorcing right now, I wonder what questions my kids will have for me? The only good thing, they are so small (were 1&2 when it first happened) they won't ever have known us together....Or wait, maybe that is the bad thing?? Either way they will know a life with a limited view of their father, so it is up to me to figure it out:)

HeartsMakeFamilies on June 4, 2010 at 2:58 PM said...

Man that hits to close to home right now. Faith came home with about the same situation. SHe was freaked out for a week.

怡君 on June 4, 2010 at 3:50 PM said...

勤勉是幸運的右手,節儉是幸運的左手。..................................................

Maureen@IslandRoar on June 4, 2010 at 4:22 PM said...

Ouch! They certainly know how to push the ole buttons without even trying. I certainly hope you never have to play Rock Paper Scissors; it sucks.

Kids Learn @ Kiboom Daily on June 4, 2010 at 5:43 PM said...

Wow, while you were busy writing that AMAZING story, I've been very busy with my social networking lately!

Which brings me to the reason for this post:

I am really very sorry that this is a form letter :(

However we spent days following everyone on the Simply Follow list from the Mom Bloggers Club, and out of 690 people, maybe only 10 followed us :(

I don’t know if you joined our blog or not, but if you have a moment, could you PLEASE go over to http://www.kiboomu.blogspot.com and give us a quick follow?

Again, sorry for this form letter, but I am going to to back to ALL 690+ people that we followed and leaving this note. Hopefully we will get a super great turnout now!

BTW I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

XOXOXO
Wendy

Jack and Alex Manning on June 4, 2010 at 8:43 PM said...

Oh, I'm just a little teary now...my four-year old's best friend's parents recently got divorced. He doesn't seem to have noticed the change yet. He did recently see people smoking (Seattle is so clean air that you really hardly ever see it!) and ask about that, and then he asked "mommy, did you ever have cigawettes?" to which I made an on the spot decison to lie through my teeth...

parenting ad absurdum

My name is PJ. on June 5, 2010 at 4:29 AM said...

"George Glass"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Only you would recall that, Mel!!!!

That's a tough subject to have to discuss with you kids, tougher still when it's your own marriage that's ending.

Well now, you've actually succeeded in drumming up some very painful memories for me. My first husband and I split up when my kids were 2 1/2 and 4. It was so hard to tell them and pretty much futile to try and have them understand.

JennyMac on June 5, 2010 at 6:36 AM said...

Wow..this made me sad. When my Mom and Dad got divorced, I was in law school. I am still not fully over it.

Unknown Mami on June 5, 2010 at 9:06 AM said...

Oh boy! If only there were guarantees in life.

Tracie on June 5, 2010 at 10:29 AM said...

I never have the right answers during times like that. The Partridge Family was so much cooler than the Brady's.

Alyssa on June 5, 2010 at 8:49 PM said...

I, too, grew up without 2 parents in the same room at the same time...I think that would make it harder for me to address the issue of divorce with my daughter. There's so much I don't want her to learn or experience; there's so much I don't look forward to explaining. In one way, though, I guess it's good that there is so much more awareness for children today of different households. I remember feeling very alone as a child of divorce.

On another note, thanks for your sweet warm wishes. I appreciate your kindness.

LiLu on June 6, 2010 at 6:26 AM said...

This is beautifully written... I can't even imagine trying to explain that to a munchkin. I'm sure it's hard enough to explain it to yourself when you're going through it :-(

Beth on June 6, 2010 at 11:32 AM said...

What a beautiful, but sad, post. Felt the intensity of your love for your son and the depth of his compassion for his friend and desire not to have to face the same. Blessings to you!

Wife on the Roller Coaster on June 6, 2010 at 1:09 PM said...

Hmmm, that's one of those talks I'm dreading with my kids. Tough subject but you handled it beautifully. And I'm partial to the Brady's, real-life dysfunction and all!

carma on June 6, 2010 at 3:16 PM said...

I say you handled that situation very well. My son has noticed that very few of the kids at his school have parents who are still married. He said he is proud to say he has parents who are still together - GAH - the pressure is on!!! ;-)

Nya's mom on June 6, 2010 at 6:03 PM said...

That is such a hard talk to have. I agree with the others who say that you handled it very well.

I found your blog on MBC and am now following.

I am still new at this blogging thing and am in need of new followers, so please follow me as well.

You can find me at:
http://mommyhoodnextright.blogspot.com

I look forward to reading more from you!

-Jessica a.k.a Nya's mom

The Blue Zoo on June 7, 2010 at 10:06 AM said...

Aw, poor guy. I hope they can keep the split from getting ugly and traumatizing the kid.

The Empress on June 7, 2010 at 1:13 PM said...

WOW. I don't know what I'd saw to that, except "Honey, sounds like your friend really wants to talk, be extra sure to listen to him whenever he talks to you."

Poor things. They want a simple answer.

Joann Mannix on June 7, 2010 at 1:29 PM said...

Punch in the gut, oomph. Your sweet boy, how tough that must have been for you and for him.

I did have that Beaver Cleaver life and it worked out very well. Although, we had many friends who took shelter at our big happy Irish house on a daily basis, just to get away from the hurt happening in their house.

Eloquent post, Mrs. Blogalot.

Erin on June 7, 2010 at 1:49 PM said...

Kids are smarter and more in tune than we give them credit for. My kids last week were actually asking how our next door neighbor's baby got into her tummy. I stuck with a very basic answer not involving any genitalia terminology since they are only 4, but sheesh...I'm not ready for that let alone a discussion about divorce. Oy. Sounds like you handled it just right, though!

Sheila Sultani on June 7, 2010 at 5:14 PM said...

I remember the first time I realized this could happen to parents - it was really scary. This August, my parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary. It sucks when our kids have to face the real world, this is almost as bad as when my friends dad died when we were in 5th grade. It took me a couple of years to stop the panic every time my dad left the house.

Dalia (Generation X Mom) on June 7, 2010 at 6:30 PM said...

So sad that kids have to worry about this sort of thing.

Debbie on June 7, 2010 at 10:38 PM said...

This is the second blog talking about divorce and the impact on the kids' friends that I've read today! It seems like all our friends are divorcing. What a terrible shame for those kids.

SeymourZ_R翊芷 on June 8, 2010 at 3:15 AM said...

不錯唷~我會常常來 >"<..................................................

The Urban Cowboy on June 8, 2010 at 4:20 PM said...

I was more into Susan Dey. As far as rock paper scissors goes...no comment.

Jen on June 8, 2010 at 5:16 PM said...

Makes me glad I got divorced when the kids were under a year old. About the only time I have ever been glad I was divorced. It's all they knew so I never had to go into details. At least not yet.

drollgirl on June 8, 2010 at 5:41 PM said...

wah. i am so glad your marriage is rock solid.

and thank you for your sweet comment today -- i really appreciate it.

Katherine on June 8, 2010 at 6:52 PM said...

Yea, whatever DID happen to that bus! I remember when my kids were younger... the boys played with my friend's son, just down the street. My friend's husband started to cheat on her with the woman across the street.... pretty openly. What a hard thing to explain to my kids... it was right there in their face... hard hard hard!

Katherine
shoot-me-now(dot)com

Linda Medrano on June 8, 2010 at 7:40 PM said...

As a divorcee with 2 kids at the ripe old age of 24, I almost have to laugh. My kid thought our arrangement was "normal". They always said "We're more like the Adams Family than the Partridge Family and they were right! They were only a little disappointed when Dad got married again that we couldn't all live together since we were married, right?

Wicked on June 8, 2010 at 10:10 PM said...

Even at 14, the Drama Queen still worries about this at times. One of her good friends had a divorce situation this year that resulted in her friend leaving Kentucky with the custodial parent and moving to New York. It was a hard dose of reality for the few kids in her circle of friends to face, that even at their age, it could still happen. She watches very closely when there is a major series of disagreements around here or a long period of tension. It's hard for them, bt they also learn that relationships and marriage effect more than just the two people who got married and will hopefully always be mindful of that when they decide to take that step.

Mammatalk on June 9, 2010 at 8:01 AM said...

Oh, wow. Not looking forward to answering that question...Ouch.

Six Feet Under Blog on June 9, 2010 at 10:34 AM said...

How sad! Kids do think the worse.
http://theblogfrog.com/501852

Buggys on June 9, 2010 at 1:32 PM said...

I lived through this with my girls and it is truly the most difficult thing I have ever done.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip on June 18, 2010 at 8:13 PM said...

I remember when my parents told us about them getting divorced. I was 9 and my sister was 6. It was sad, but actually not completely unexpected. They fought a lot and things were actually better after they separated.

It's awful though when the innocence is destroyed. I'm just beginning to see the innocence be slightly ruffled in my son who is almost 6. Not that he knows about lots of horrible things or anything. But he's beginning to ask about stuff like orphans. (Our friends adopted an orphan from China.) And he says, Mami, why would anyone not want to keep their child? And stuff like that. It just kills me.

At least your son has a great relationship with you and feels comfortable talking with you about these things. So you can hold his hand while you explain the stuff that isn't always going to be picture perfect.

With our best on July 14, 2010 at 8:20 AM said...

Hi! Late Following through Tues Follow! I like your blog and looking forward to reading more! Your site is very original!

I would love it if you looked around and followed me back!
http://www.withourbest.com

-Karissa

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