Back to my point. Divorce is hard, but even moreso for the children.They don't deserve that type of burden. Yesterday, I spent my GOLDEN birthday alone. I was not particularly sad about this. The kids are visiting family for the summer. I have sincerely enjoyed my time, spent on me.
Anyway, my 8-year-old called me and asked what I was doing for the day. I told her that I would be at home, and take a nap.
That saddened her.
She asked what presents I'd gotten so far. I told her none.
That bothered her too.
I assured her I was fine, that I was enjoying my day. And then comes the question that I know came from the place in her heart that yearned to be brought back to that stable, safe place she'd known since birth.
"Why don't you call daddy? He can do something with you."
Her father and I live separately, our communication has been short, through text. Mostly amicable. He wished me a happy birthday earlier in the day, called me an "old lady." His attempt at humor, I'm sure, to soften the blow of our shattered lives. We spent every single birthday together, since 17-years-old. He knew I'd be alone. I didn't have time to make friends in a new place, while juggling work, kids, and a failing marriage. All my time was spent with them. I have no family in Florida. I imagine that if even for a moment, he cared.
I try to pivot the conversation with Samara, "Well, I'm sure your daddy has other things to do. He's busy."
She responds, "How do you know, you haven't asked him?"
I hear the mix of pain and excitement in her voice, a child, desperate to see her parents happy...together.
I pivot again, "You know daddy is always at work. I'm sure he's busy. It's okay. I'm fine."
Then my heart drops, because this pain is on US. Her view of love, now tainted, her future relationships and self confidence, now complicated.
I hear a little defeat in her voice, but then a final earnest attempt, "Well, maybe I can call him and ask him so you won't be by yourself, then he can come see you."
I won't break her heart this time. It's his turn.
"Sure," I say. "That's a good idea."