I’m going to be real transparent right now. There is one thing that bothers me from my divorce. It’s a pain that I try and ignore and today I was required to address it.
Breydan woke me up routinely with his morning cuddles. He told me good morning, he loved me and that I was beautiful all while laying on my back, cheek to my cheek and his arms around my neck. I think that was him prepping me for the blow he was about to dish out. He saw my phone on the edge of my bed, sat up and asked me if we can call his “bald headed daddy.” That is what he calls my soon to be ex husband. Caught off guard and wanting to retreat under my covers, the first time he asked, I ignored him. The second time he asked I looked around for my sister who usually comes to rescue me and divert his attention when he asks questions like this but she was in the shower. The third time he asked I finally mustered up the courage to address him. I told him that daddy and I are no longer together. That we weren’t going to be married anymore and he won’t be coming back. That’s when he hit me with the punch in my throat, figuratively, but might as well have been real. With sadness in his eyes he asked me if he was still his daddy and for that I could only answer, only if he wants to be.
It is no secret that my ex husband is not Breydan’s biological father but you couldn’t tell either of them that. Their love for each other ran so deep that people who saw them together couldn’t tell they weren’t blood related. I often got comments that they even looked alike and we would just smile to ourselves as I gently shared the truth. Please don’t think that I told Breydan that my estranged husband is his father. His biological father is around, just inconsistently. Breydan was very aware that he had two dads. He calls his biological father “dada” and my ex his “daddy” or “bald headed daddy.” This is an agreement the three of them accepted. Shortly after meeting Leslie, and actually on the weekend I went to meet Leslie’s mom for the 1st time, if you’ve read my previous blog “Our Love Story”, is when Breydan 1st called Leslie daddy. I didn’t coax him, I never even suggested it, Breydan just spurted it out. Leslie accepted the role and title that day and they both worked this out to my surprise and without my input. Over our relationship Leslie and Breydan formed a relationship of their own. Leslie got the opportunity to raise a child without restraint and Breydan got the daddy he always wanted. Breydan was his son and he loved him as if he was his own. I never had to ask him to step up or care for him, he naturally did and their love was unconditional. This all stopped the night Leslie left. I believe the reason why Leslie stayed so long prior to this was partly because he didn’t want to walk out on Breydan too. I know it had to be hard. I’ve seen him hesitate on leaving solely because of Breydan. But the fact remains that not only is he no longer in my life, he is no longer in Brey’s either.
Before we decided to separate for good, I dropped my pride and asked Leslie despite what happens between us to please remain in Breydan’s life if he is willing. I told him that I won’t limit him I only ask that he be consistent. He stated he would and that was the last time we spoke about it. It’s been months since they’ve spoken and the night he left was the last time Brey saw him. Brey tells me he misses him from time to time and it breaks my heart to see the pain and longing in his face. Those are the moments I try and avoid and secretly wish that I never have to address.
How do I adequately explain to a 5 year old that the man who assumed the role of his daddy since he was two years old has chosen to no longer be in his life. How do I tell my son that when daddy left mommy he left him too? How can I not pacify my son from the truth to protect his feelings? This is the part of my divorce that I am still struggling with. I can’t say that I have figured it out at this point but today I was forced by my son’s persistent questions to no longer be in denial about the truth. The truth is, at this point, Leslie has no obligation to me or my son and he has biological children that he is obligated to. Whatever he chooses to do for Breydan is simply his choice and we will have to adjust. I cannot ask or force him to be in my son’s life. There are no papers I can serve and no guilt trip that I am willing to dish out to encourage him either. So here I am in this gray area, where as I’m healing, at five years old, my son’s healing journey is only beginning.
I’m still navigating through this one. This wound is still fresh but now the band aid is off and healing can begin. Below are my letters to them:
Mommy is hurting but I know you are hurting too. I know you miss daddy and although I don’t admit it, I miss the relationship he had with you. I know you purposely don’t have these conversations with me but sometimes you can’t help yourself. I know you don’t want to see mommy hurting but mommy isn’t exactly sure how to encourage you through this. Your pain is my pain and although I want to carry it for you I can’t. You won’t be a little boy forever and I can’t shelter you from all bad weather because you too have to learn to weather the storms. So I vow to continue to be strong for the both of us, do my best to comfort you as you heal too and no longer hold the truth from you. We will get through this together and both of us will come out better than ever.
Mommy loves you
Don’t forget that I understand you and despite all that we’ve been through, I don’t blame you. I want to thank you for all you did for me and Breydan. You got a fair chance at fatherhood and you were amazing. I always encouraged you to be the best father that you can be, now you have that opportunity. Your biological children need you and love you. You possess all the skills you need to be the father you’ve always wanted to be, you just have to step up and use them. Brey and I are rooting for you.