Thursday, November 6, 2008

SURPRISE! My parents got a divorce.

Ok, ok, no need for condolences, this news is certainly NOT a surprise to ME! Their separation happened close to 16 years ago now and they have both been remarried for quite some time to other people.

But apparently I had failed to inform my sweet child of this SHOCKING development.

He overheard a conversation this week between his older brothers and I where I casually mentioned "When my mom and dad got divorced I was ..."

The conversation trailed off because we were interrupted by the frantic wail of a concerned 7 year old. "Your parents got DIVORCED?!?!?"

"Divorce", in his mind, is simply a horrible word that means a great sadness. And although he probably couldn't tell you what it actually means, he's pretty sure it's still a BAD, BAD thing. And it happened to MOMMY'S parents.

And so I had to explain to him that in fact, YES my mom and dad (after clarifying WHICH of his many grandparents are in fact MY parents) got divorced a long time ago. And yes, that meant that PAPA and GRANDMA actually used to LIVE together. WITH ME. Apparently that was ALSO shocking news, because where was NANA, if Papa lived with Grandma??

A lengthy conversation occurred.

You know, with the first three those important conversations happened because I remembered I was supposed to have them. We did it as a group.

Adoption was easy, as they all remembered the occasion, at least for long enough to talk about it with a certain understanding of the steps that occurred.

Sex education was part of our home schooling. I think that conveniently occurred during son #4's nap time.

Family dynamics? I remember back when I had time to look through family albums explaining who was related, who was married in, and who was family 'by choice'.

But you know, with the fourth? The one that causes you to forget to brush your hair until you are walking into the front door of church? Or the one that you continually forget the diaper bag for because you were too busy making sure the 3 preschoolers were actually IN their car seats? Or how about the one you accidentally left at home when you were bundling the other 3 plus the two foster babies in for an emergency run across town and you could SWEAR that your heard your husband say he was taking him out for the evening?

Well THAT one! That poor, much loved but sometimes overlooked fourth child? I have apparently forgotten to inform him, at times, of important life matters.

Like the fact he thought until he was 5 that when he grew up he would be black like his big brother Greg. Oooops! Did I forget to tell you how come half our family is black and half our family is white?

Or the fact that when he was 4 he ended up sobbing on our "Family Day Anniversary" that he didn't have birth parents and wasn't adopted too. Ooops? Did I forget to tell you I gave birth to you?

Ok, so all is not lost. Caden DOES know the proper names for body parts, and the child is reading, writing and doing math. He certainly is hugged alot. He's a bit spoiled (ok, alot) but apparently fairly clueless on our family makeup.

One of these days, when I have some free time, and he doesn't quite seem like so much of my baby, we are going to have to have some conversations.

I think I will start the first one with, "God made boys and girls different for a reason ..."

But he's my BABY. My innocent. I wish I could keep him that way forever.


Vanessa said...

OOOPPPPSSS LOL!! Poor boy, I don't think you scarred him for life yet!

Andy said...

That's priceless!!

Di said...

Jen - oh dear... These are the things they will tease you about when you are old and grey...

Anonymous said...

A little more of child #4 of Jen's...

While driving down the road with all my boys and Caden along for the ride, we passed this spot on the road...

..the beautiful meadowy spot where there's a quaint little red barn with picture perfect white cross boards and a small loft door, just like in your favorite little kids' horse book that looks like someone caringly placed it into the exact right spot of a perfect field, with just the right amount of trees surrounding the meadow and greener grass than you've ever seen, all the way to the shore of the lake that is edged by bull rushes big enough to see from across the lake; swans often seen gliding beautifully across the still waters; above that paintable meadow, there's a sweet little cottage reminiscent of a Thomas Kincade painting and the sun shines on that spot until the last possible moment before it drops down behind the mountains, casting a beautiful hue of yellow on the whole scene, making it the most beautiful sight anyone can lay their eyes on...

...Caden shares with us, with just a hint of embarrassment, that until he was a big kid, you know FIVE, he thought that spot was heaven.

How totally and completly, as Jen put it, innocent, how totally Caden.

I had to share with him that if I didn't know better, I would have thought so as well and that we never know, perhaps that's what our spot in heaven will look like!

Yes, child #4 is doing just fine!

Lala's world said...

that's so funny! it's true the baby gets looked over and I want to keep my baby a baby for as long as I can, but she seems to want to grow up faster than the others, tries really hard to keep up with her big sisters and is love every day with a new boy....deep sigh....can't keep that one a baby much longer AT ALL!