Earlier this month, my munch had a breakdown. Why? Because his dad was now out of the hospital and home resting and wanted to resume the visitation scheduled. He was getting better and wanted to spend time taking care of his son. I didn’t argue. When you are in a shared custody situation and trying to keep the peace, you just do so.
Well, when I told munch that his dad was picking him up from camp on Thursday he started questioning me “Why? Is he bringing me back to your house?” “No, munch. He’s going to keep you for a week” I said. He started to cry. I asked him why he’s crying and his answer caused me to cry.
Munch said, “Mommy, I want to stay with you. My home is with you. Don’t we have fun together? I like visiting my dad, but I live with you.” He really started sobbing and said “If I tell my daddy that I want to stay with you he will tell me that I’m hurting his feelings and I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but I want to be with you. He will banish me mommy.” We were standing outside of the grocery store and I’m trying to comfort my 7-year-old who was sobbing at this point. People started to ask were we okay?
I just shook my head yes and with tears streaming down my eyes, I said “Munch, your daddy loves you. He always has. You are the most important person to him. I’ve had my time and he needs his time. You have your own room at his house and your own toys. You two do things together that are fun.” He said, “I know, but I live with you mommy.” I just held him. My words were no longer flowing and my child needed me to comfort him.
We went into the grocery store because I had to get something for dinner. I told him to pick out the fruits and vegetables he wanted. He picked out apples, watermelon and broccoli. We shopped in silence with me smiling and holding his hand. His mood was kind of melancholy. I said, “Munch, you know that daddy and I are trying our best right?” He just stared at me. I continued by saying, “Sometimes parents make mistakes, but we try our best. We love without limits or restrictions and we want you to do the same. You need to do the same with your dad. We are two different people baby, but I promise you that he wants you so much. We both do. We have to share time. Time is our greatest gift and he wants time with you like I do.” He said, “Okay mommy.”
It’s days like this where I feel like I am failing him. Where I’m not doing enough to encourage his spirit, nourish his soul and give him his dang wings so he can learn to fly without me. Is it easy coming from a broken home? No. Will he be damaged because of it? Yes, but how much damage depends on us. I just want to know that I’m doing right by him. Sigh, co-parenting is hard.
I sometimes wonder how much more can this little boy take. I feel like I’m failing my son by not being able to give him a two parent home. Munch is too young to understand that sometimes things fall apart and no matter how hard you try you can’t make someone love, want or respect you. His dad is not a bad father. He’s an incredible father who loves his son. We just couldn’t stay together. Not even for munch.
It’s days like this that I long for the infant that I carried in my womb. The one that kicked me when I forgot to eat or did somersaults when he didn’t like what I ate (Tex Mex Egg Rolls). I long for the innocence in carrying him in my womb knowing that he was safe there and I was the only one responsible for that safety. It was my job. No, it was my honor. When he was born I realized in that moment that I had birthed a king, but I cried because I could no longer protect him from everything.
But, I will continue to try.