These six little words dangled in the air for what seemed like an eternity. That’s how long it took me to exhale.
Meanwhile, the hamster wheel in my head was working overtime. This was such an important question and I didn’t want to blow it.
When she was younger, I anticipated the questions she would one day ask.
“Where do babies come from?” “Is Santa real?”
I never imagined that she would ask such a question. I never imagined getting divorced either, but well, here we are. Yet there she was in my arms, looking up at me with her tear-filled eyes, anxiously waiting for an answer.
“Why, Mom? Why?”
How do you answer? What can a parent possibly say in this situation? What should a parent say? Do you tell the truth?
“Sweetie, Daddy’s been lying for so long he wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up and smacked him in his lying face.”
No, you don’t say that (*sigh*). You take the high road. Besides, I don’t need my child filling up her trauma egg before she hits middle school. There will be plenty of time for that after college.
Instead, I listened. I acknowledged her feelings. And I reminded her that she can’t “fix” Daddy. (Lord knows I tried!) Only Daddy can fix Daddy.
It’s sad, really sad, to watch your child come to the self realization that her father has been lying to her. And the look in her eyes is something I’ll never forget.
I realize every kid eventually comes to the conclusion that their parents aren’t perfect. But that moment should happen like a Chevy Chase movie. Dad picks you up from school wearing black socks with sandals. Mom tries to do the running man at your school dance while chaperoning.
Yup, sooner or later it eventually happens. For the sake our children, we should do our damnedest to make that moment happens later, not sooner. That's what the teen years are for, am I right?
I pray to God I handled this appropriately. This is all new territory for me.
In the meantime, I’m on my way to talk to my ex about his lying and how it’s affecting our daughter. Wish me luck…
*Has your child ever asked, “Why does mommy/daddy lie to me?”
*How did you handle this with your child?
*Did you talk to your ex about the lying?