It has been 9 days now. During each I have remained completely composed in front of Benjamin. I have been calm, engaged and present to play with him, talk to him and just be with him.
Tomorrow it’s back to school and work. To our new reality.
After I write this post I’ll be writing a note to Benjamin’s teachers explaining the situation.
He left and I didn’t stop him.
He left after I trusted him with everything and believed, for the second time in my life, that it would be forever.
He left after promising to be Benjamin’s father.
But I didn’t stop him. And he had to leave because he knew in his heart it wasn’t right to stay, no matter how ill-timed his decision.
The shock has worn off and in its place there is anger mixed with a lovely peppering of fear and a dash of disdain. I am sure these emotions will pass. I just wonder what will be left in their place. I’m fearful that I’ll build up another wall, an even higher one this time, and never let another man around my child. I’m also thinking that I may be destined to be single forever. Relationships, clearly, don’t suit me. I love being single, why tamper with that? Why not just be happy and stay single this time?
Oh, men. Why are some of you so irresistible? Don’t answer that.
But seriously, not all of us find true love with another mate in life. I’m lucky enough to be madly in love with my work, with my own business and to have Benjamin. Do I really need a trifecta? The risk seems too great. I know, it’s still early but these are my thoughts.
John stopped by this week for his official good-bye. Benjamin’s only question was, “will we still be able to play baseball?”
“Yes,” said John as he choked back tears, “we’ll still be able to play baseball. And I want you to take care of your Mommy. You’re the man of the house now.”
“Okay, Dad – I mean, John Bear.”
That’s the most heartbreaking of all for me. When Benjamin calls him Dad and then corrects himself. It happens about once a day. It’s all so fresh, John’s things are still here and some of his furniture. So when he’s jumping on the couch and I’m telling him to stop, “My Dad, I mean John Bear let’s me.”
Blindsided. Completely. I am just hoping the cosmos forgive my mistake and leave Benjamin unscathed. If any of you have been through this with a four year old before, I would appreciate any advice you may have.
With the exception of the last three months, Benjamin and I have always been living alone so he seems to be bouncing right back. And, I can’t tell if this will stick but he actually says he’s happy John Bear won’t be with us anymore. That surprised me, but now with the dust settling and my 20/20 hindsight creeping in I see an unhappy John trying to discipline Benjamin. And Benjamin wasn’t accepting it very well.
So, who knows – maybe everything will be okay.
It’s just too early to tell.
We have also had house guests this entire week. Awesome friends, aunts, uncles and one grandma. Plenty of company and a tremendous amount of love and support.
One thing I learned the first time I found myself alone with a child was this–always, always ask for help and ask for it often. Speaking of help, your response, my sweet readers and friends, has been absolutely off the charts. I can’t tell you how much every one of your comments has meant to me.
What would I do without all of you?
You’re like my cheering section and I feel like we’re all connected in this battle to re-define single motherhood. We’re modern single mothers and one thing is certain, our story has never been told this way before. And that is truly awesome.
No matter how it ends.