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So what about the kid, anyway?

One of the very best parts about doing this blog is getting feedback from you. I read all your comments and take them to heart. But when I saw this one  asking if I ever planned on discussing my child (given this is on a parenting site and all), I bristled. I'll admit, I felt a little attacked, which I'm not used to feeling here. It's been a really long time, probably since the very start of this, that a reader actually challenged me in that way. My first thoughts were along the lines of "Whodoyouthinkyouare?!" and "ThisisMYblogandIcanwriteaboutwhateverIdamnwellplease..." And then, I calmed down. I gave her note the consideration it deserves: After all, if she's wondering about why I don't talk more about the impact of the separation/impending divorce on Miss Monkey, other people might be, too. So here goes...

The reason is actually pretty simple: There just hasn't been a whole lot of drama for her. Now, THIS DOES NOT MEAN SHE'S BEEN UNAFFECTED. For me to even think that for a second would be just plain stupid. She's almost 5 now, and she's been incredibly aware of everything that's changed in her little family over the last year and a half. Sometimes she asks a lot of questions, like: "Why doesn't daddy live here anymore? Why are you just friends? He used to be your husband!" And sometimes, especially when she's mad at me for whoknowswhat, she'll scream, "I don't want you to live here! I want to live with daddy! You go and live in the city instead!" She gets it. She hates it. She deserves to hate every second of it.

But here's the thing about these episodes...they're fairly short-lived. Since she tends to have them mostly with me, we've developed a way of coping together. I let her say everything she wants...even the horrible mean stuff. I let her yell and cry, and I never, ever leave her side. I tell her over and over that I know how mad she is. That I'm mad, too. That she's right, that it's not fair and it stinks.  Without fail, she ends up in my lap, usually within minutes, usually in the middle of saying she doesn't want me in her house. I hold her and rock her and show her I love her no matter what (and I tell her over and over that her daddy does, too). I show her that even though her feelings are big and scary and overwhelming, I am strong enough to handle them. She's learning that she can handle them, too. How do I know? Because she calms down. She smiles. We move on to something else and play. How else do I know? Because she's a happy kid.

Throughout this whole ordeal, the one thing my STBX and I have always agreed on is making sure she gets through this as well as she possibly can. We don't fight in front of her. We don't bad-mouth each other. We call each other to share funny things/moments/comments. We present a united front: If he tells her something, I back him up. He does the same for me. We're not perfect and, like any other parents, we slip. But the vast majority of the time, we do pretty well. I'm very proud of us, in fact, because she is getting through it. She knows she is loved more than anything. And, really, isn't that the point? 

I'll make more of an effort to share how she's faring with the divorce—and with just being five. Because, you know, being FIVE is big. But also know that she's been the one part we've managed to get right, so if I don't talk about her, it's just because there's a whole lot less to figure out. xox, Evie

 

 

 

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