Up until now, Dino has been pretty accepting of the way things are. We had a talk with him in January about the divorce and he seemed to understand that Mommy and Daddy were not going to be living in the same house. We made sure he understood that he would always have both of us, and that he knew that we loved him just as much as before. We also stressed that he was not responsible for the breakdown between his parents. We have reinforced this a number of times over the past several months to be sure he knew that we loved him and didn't blame anyone for our split. Still, at 6, I am sure that there are just some things that he didn't totally integrate into his little brain right away.
Case in point, last night. We were getting ready for bed early (as I have not been sleeping well) and Dino was going on about how Daddy had to work a lot and suddenly he says,
"You and Daddy used to hug and kiss a lot before. Why don't you do that anymore?"
Wow. How to answer that one diplomatically? My first thoughts were not charitable towards his dad. I wanted to say that if I was treated better, had more respect, or was shown the love I wanted, we wouldn't be here. But of course, this isn't what one says to one's child when this question is broached.
I sat down and pulled him into my arms, taking a deep breath.
"Honey, you know that Mommy and Daddy are divorced."
"Well, sometimes two people think that they can live together and be happy. Then they realize that they aren't happy. Mommy and Daddy just found out that they aren't in love with each other anymore. It doesn't mean that we don't care. And we will ALWAYS love you no matter what. That never stops."
I swallowed hard. Was this the right thing to say? Will it only confuse him to hear that our love had died but not all love does this?
He seemed deep in thought for a moment, his little brow furrowed with concentration. Then his eyes widened and he blurted out,
"You just have to be happy, Mommy. When you're happy, everyone is happy."
Out of the mouths of babes....