Tuesday, July 20, 2010

acceptable dad substitutes

Okay. So, per my very wise mother-in-law's suggestion, I did not make a big deal about or even mention the break up with the boyfriend to the boyz. She suggested to let them lead. Wait to see if and when they mentioned him and then casually mention that we are making time for new friends and haven't had a lot of time to see each other anymore because of that. If I make a big deal about it, I have created another loss for them.

Let me preface this by telling you one of the reasons for my timing of breaking up was that I thought I was witnessing a bond forming and I realized that if I was having this many doubts, then I needed to stop before the bond developed further and my children started to identify with him as a potential father figure. Although, as my and their counselors have told me, even the mention of a date to them will subconsciously begin that kind of an identification to two little boyz who don't have a dad. It is a tough position to be in as far as dating goes, but it is what it is and that is our life. I handle it the best I know how.

Okay, so nearly 3 weeks went by without the boyz having any contact with the boyfriend and mommy mentioning him at all. Nearly 3 weeks, and they never once mentioned him either. So the bond that I thought was digging roots deep into the ground was really more surface level than I had understood. I was very glad to see that and I learned a lesson about ensuring my feelings a bit more before I introduced someone into their life. However, in my situation, it is difficult to see if the entire dynamic will work without introducting them into the mix SOME. They are part of the entire Angie package. They do not go away every other weekend and on Thursdays. They are with me 100% of the time. You can't love ALL THIS without loving ALL THAT, too. Again, it is what it is. And I realize it is a lot.

Then they finally asked. I played it off exactly as I intended to very casually and VERY calmly and very vaguely. But, they are smart little cookies and I knew them well enough to expect more questions. They asked many questions about if I was EVER going to go out with him again or ever going to see him again and if I was going to marry him. I said, "No boyz, mommy isn't going to marry him." We talked a bit about what dating is and how you get to know someone and determine if and when you want to keep dating this person to possibly marry some day and if and when you stop because you realize you don't.

Grant finally said, "Well, you have to get married to SOMEONE."

Thinking he was insulting my ability to continue to do it all, I said, "No I don't. We are doing just fine. We are getting by and having a good time. We are doing good just the 3 of us. Why do you say that?"

"Because I WANT A DADDY."

I'm sorry, excuse me, ooops, sorry. I 'm just gonna bend down and pick that up. I just found a few more pieces of my shattered heart. It keeps shattering every time I mentally repeat that.

He said it a few more times almost like a temper-tantrum-throwing toddler.

I teared up, looked at him and said, " I know you do, Buddy. I love you. Is there anything I can do to make you feel better?"

"Nothing really. I just want a Daddy."

"I know, Buddy. But maybe there is something that you are remembering that you did with daddy or something that you see other dads do that you wish I would do."

He looked out the window  (we were in the car by now) and said, "Well, I think I would feel better if you let me have my next birthday party at Rainbow Playsystems." (Yes, we were driving by Rainbow Playsystems' display area at the time.)

I laughed and said that was a long way away. We would see.

He paused, sighed and said, "And, there is one thing you could do that you never do. You could take us to Chuck E. Cheese."

Smart kid.

I told him I wasn't falling for any of it, though.

I'll just keep trying out my best kung fu and watching more Star Wars.



  1. That is some MIL you have there. And you're not bad yourself.

  2. God bless you! I'm sorry you are even having to face decisions like that. Great wisdom in this situation. (((hugs)))

  3. Wow. What a sweet and poignant comment. You are doing a great job. Now take those little guys to Chuck E Cheese!

  4. Angie,
    I love the way you balance things. Perfectly handled!

    And like Anna See said, take those boyz to CEC! Get some coupons off the website & go play the games with them. You don't have to hang around forever & eat their NASTY food (and believe me, it's GROSS)...but play games, trade in your tickets for some cheap crappy $2 plastic toy and get on the road. They'll love it.

  5. What a wise mom you are. It also sounds like you are raising some pretty smart boys too!! Have fun at Chuck E Cheese :)

  6. Good to see you back, don't worry about the days when you don't blog, it's here to be cathartic, just use it when you need to. Oh, and Grant's comment about going to Chuck E.'s? He's a lawyer with thouse negotiating skills. Just sayin'. Finally? The first beau is never supposed to work out, he's just there to help you get over some of the pain and get ready for the real guy...

  7. That is actually so sweet. I love the kung fu and star wars learning for them.

    You are doing an amazing job. I know you don't write these things down to hear from random people that we think that, but honestly you are. You must be exhausted. And I am so impressed with how much you give to your boys all.the.time.

    Hang in there Angie. When the time is right God will send someone for all three of you.

    sending hugs!