My baby breaks my heart. I look at her, at random points throughout the day, eating, laughing, sleeping, thinking, talking, and I am repeatedly stunned at her beauty, both on the outside and the inside. It is the cliche of my heart swells and I just want to cry.
She is so little. She doesn’t understand the adult world and she shouldn’t have to. Everything should be princesses and fairies and imagination and magic. Not explaining why mum and dad aren’t together anymore, why dad has made a new family with someone else, why she doesn’t see dad anymore, why we live in a little place instead of the big beautiful house, why she doesn’t have a family anymore, only me.
Her heartbreak breaks my heart. She watches her friends, with everything that she once had, jealous that they still have what she wants. I feel like I have failed her, that I have let her down by not being able to hold onto those things for us. The nice house, the sister, the good car, the family, the dog. The dad.
I know that we have more than a lot of other people, and I am grateful for everything we have, because we have worked so damn hard for it. But we both still keenly feel the loss of what is gone. It is easier for me, I know that things will get better, things are getting better. When you’re five, now is all that matters. Right now, for my baby, sucks.
I see her gentle, soft soul and it scares me. She feels so much and sees the world as a much prettier place than it actually is. She sees an ideal world. I try to protect her from the harshness of life without wrapping her in cotton wool. I try to teach her that the world is not black and white, that people don’t always do the right thing even if they know what it is, and that that’s okay because no one is perfect. I tell her that she hasn’t done anything wrong, life hasn’t gone this way because of anything she did. Still, she carries so much sadness and anger in her little heart, and her pain bleeds into my heart, because I can’t fix it. I can’t give her what she wants.
I came across a book tonight, in my internet wanderings, called What Children Need When They Grieve. I haven’t read it, but I’d like to. I get the author’s idea of four core concepts when dealing with children’s grief – honesty, routine, love, and security. Those four things have been working for us, as much as anything works, for a while now. The sense of security, of permanency, is the biggest thing lacking at the moment, and where my focus currently lies.
But in order to create permanent security we have to go through another major upheaval because life as we know it now was only ever meant to be temporary. I know to grit my teeth and just get through it, but it’s going to be a long road for my Bug. We’re going down it though, because what’s at the end of that road, is worth everything. Maybe it’s not what we had, maybe it’s not what she wants now, but it’s something we are going to build, together. Just for us.