Last week hubby and I were in a fight. Nothing major but we were arguing for some time about some mundane stuff. Even though I call it mundane now but apparently that day it was important to me. Daughter as most kids, gets really upset if we are in a fight. It’s not very often that we fight and somehow the whole scenario makes her very uneasy. Here I must also mention that even though I’m using the term ‘fight’ but there is generally no yelling or shouting involved. But kids as intelligent as they are pick up on the vibes and bits of conversations.
So as Daughter’s bedtime rolled in, the hubby and I went up to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. By this time we had resolved our differences and were friends again. Seeing us her first question was whether we were getting a divorce or not. We quickly told her that no such thing was happening and we had already resolved the issue that was bothering us. We sat and talked for a while to put her little mind at ease. Now the question that was bothering me was where did she learn about divorce and how much exactly does she know it. But I chose to ignore those questions as it was bedtime.
After coming down and further discussing with the hubby, we identified her source of the new-found-knowledge. She has a friend whose parents got divorced when she was around 3 and they are now both married to different people. Her friend K lives with her mom and step dad, while she spends one weekend in a month with her dad and his family. Now this friend K also lives in our neighborhood. Her mom and I are also friends. So even though I know Daughter knows about the ‘step’ thing but I wasn’t aware that she knew the how’s and whys of divorce.
But honestly what disturbed me was why she thought divorce was a bad thing. I knew I had to talk to her. I honestly don’t want her to grow up thinking life is one big fairytale. So explaining divorce is not bad and it sometimes works for the best was my priority.
The next day, while we were talking I once again emphasized that we are not getting a divorce and having arguments in the family is quite normal. She listened and nodded. After once again putting her mind at ease, I slowly moved on the subject that was in my mind. I asked her why she thought divorce was bad. She was quiet for a while and ceasing the opportunity I explained that sometimes it works for the best. Taking example of friends often helps, so I gave her the example of K’s family and how they were happy even though they didn’t live in the same house. To this she told me, ‘of course it’s better for the parents since they don’t have to fight anymore and are free to live(marry) with people who they are friends with. But it’s not fair on K. She hardly gets to see her dad and she often tell me she misses seeing her dad everyday. She doesn’t like her dad’s family. Her step-siblings are sometimes mean to her when she visits. So how is it better for K ??’
I had a million answers that I could have given her but words failed me. Even though I know K’s mom’s situation but how can I tell a little 7 year old it’s fine to live without a father. Most importantly my heart went out to little K. I know she is a good kid but I didn’t know the pain that she hides in that little heart and in her beautiful smile. I left the discussion there and hope to get to the more important parts some other time. For now I will let her live in happily-ever-afters.