This week, the kids are at their bio-dad’s. It’s their first long visit since last December; only their 3rd visit in that time.
The past two years, visits have been very few and far-between, but recently, he has decided to get them one weekend a month, two weeks in the summer, and a couple of other times during the year.
It’s all been very stressful. When he wasn’t seeing them regularly (and for a long while, not calling) there was a certain mindset I had to go into, in order to shield the children from the reality of the situation. They, too, had to try to make sense of the things that they were aware of, and how things went when they did visit him. They met many different girlfriends/fiancees during that time, and stayed at different places; all very confusing.
But, they adjusted, and coped rather well with the absence. They’ve always been good about asking questions and they asked a lot of them:
Why didn’t he call… again?
Why didn’t he come down for a weekend, when he promised he would?
Why doesn’t he write letters back?
You know, the stuff that screws with anyone, but especially a child.
Every situation is different, and so is every parent/child relationship. Our children want to know things and will drill down to get to the answer. They also know when you are bullshitting them. So, while I haven’t divulged every detail, I haven’t lied and I didn’t sugar-coat what I did tell did them.
Having their reality explained to them in terms that they can grasp, while also knowing, without a doubt, that they are safe, secure and loved, has been a healing balm for them.
We moved forward and created a new normal. One with an absentee father. Because we had too.
But now, we are having to adjust. Again. And it’s been difficult for all of us, because, once again, we are having to wrap our heads around a new reality for them. For our family.
I still feel the need to protect them, and be on guard.
I am, cautiously, thankful that they will now have (*fingers crossed*) regular visits with him.
I am nervous that he will slip back into his old ways, but praying he doesn’t.
I am amazed by the resiliency of children.
This blog is my spot for sifting through my deeper, not-always-pretty thoughts. For the less gritty version of me, be sure to check out my other site: Living The Life Fantastic, where I blog about how we’ve been happily moving forward.