Last night Teslet said he would like to try to sleep in his own bed but he wanted me to sleep just a few feet away just in case. This is great! (He's been sleeping in my bed since I started working last fall.) I've been talking a lot about moving into a room downstairs and turning my room into his. So today I started cleaning a closet out and he brought in a couple of pictures that he wanted to 'decorate' his room with. One is a picture of him and me. That picture was placed as pictures normally are, so he could see it. He said, "I'm putting it here because I love this picture." THe other picture was of him and his dad. That picture was placed in a window, facing out so someone outside could see it. He said, "I want people to see my dad."
Later he was drawing a picture. He put a line across half the sheet and colored in one half of it. There were two people in the colored in half and one person in the clean half. I told him his picture looked pretty interesting, could he tell me the story? He said that the filled in half was the fog and he was one of the people lost in the fog. I was the other person in the fog and I was looking for him. I was close by him because I found him. I asked who the person outside the fog was. He said it was daddy. Daddy was looking for him too but he couldn't see Teslet and didn't find him.
At one point today, I had to reprimand him. After the reprimand there is always a hug and reassurance that even when I get angry with him that I still always love him and that he is stuck with me forever. Poor little guy says to me, "But mom, how will I keep my babies with me when I'm a dad? I'm a boy, I can't make babies and keep them forever." This is not the first time he has said something like this. So I guess I jumped in a little deeper than I have before. I told him that someday when he was old enough...very old...he would meet a girl he will love and help her make babies and because he will love her he will be a good husband to her and a good dad to his kids and keep her and his babies forever. And I would come over and help out because then I would be a grandma.
His two responses to this:
1. He didn't know how to make babies. (In my mind flashed a picture of grumpy cat with the word, "Good." at the bottom )
2. When he had babies, wouldn't I be dead? (No, my son, I will be old...not dead. )
Wish there was a manual to go with this shit. It's hard watching an innocent process crap he has no control over. I guess the good news is that he is processing it and he can talk about it and express it. I wonder if he talks about any of this with ex-shat. Or does any drawing over there...or any symbolic actions (like with the photos...which is the first time I've ever noticed him do anything like that.)
How do I teach him to be a good dad and a faithful husband when I have no immediate model that I can point to and say, "Here. Here is what a good husband and father does."
Confronted him: 12/22/2011
This is the most difficult thing I've ever done.
I'm lucky to have my brothers and father around to give my boys good role models, but I think even talking about what good husbands and fathers do is enough.
And I agree that it's a good sign that he is processing things and is open to sharing his feelings with you. That's so very important. I know sometimes I struggle with just getting my kids to feel safe enough to express things with me, so I think you are doing a great job fostering an environment where he can trust you and open up..
Big hugs to you and your sweet little boy (((Tesla and Teslet)))
"I want people to see my dad."
That breaks my heart. My father was completely absent. He was violent and not very nice to be around but I too missed "a dad". At his funeral several years later I cried a river. I was crying for what I never had.
What I find sad is Teslet feels this way even though his dad is still around. He's physically present but clearly not emotionally present.
It is hard to watch. Hard to accept that they're not revelling in these amazing little creatures. I feel blessed ever day to be a part of my girls lives, to be their mummy is like I've won the lotto.
You are a wonderful mamma Tesla. You're raising a good man there.
Then, there was a fifth person standing near the house, looking in the window. When I asked who that was, she said, "Oh, that's Dad. He's looking in the window."
That's pretty much what our family is like-- the four of us together (sometimes two and two) with their dad on the outside, looking in. I thought that her little artwork was very telling and very observant. It's like he's a part of our family, but he also isn't (and this was true before the D as well).
I know how you feel-- I worry that I won't be enough when it comes to raising upstanding young men primarily on my own. I'm getting my boys signed up with the Cub Scouts this fall, and I try to have them spend as much time with my dad and brothers as they can. I know you've mentioned your brother before; Teslet probably gets more positive male influence in his life than you realize. But, if you are worried about it, you might want to think about signing him up with some sort of organization where he'd spend quality time with a responsible male leader if you haven't done so already.
[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 7:36 PM, May 27th (Monday)]
Does Teslet have any age appropriate books about different types of families? Does he have grandparents, aunts, uncles etc in more traditional nuclear families? While he seems to totally get that you and he are doing wonderfully as a family, maybe it would help him to see examples of different families. This may even help (long?) down the road when there may be a "step" in the picture.
Good luck. Teslet sounds like such an intelligent, insightful little boy.
Parenting after D is so hard. Like you, I worry so much because there is only so much I can do.
You are doing a great job momma!! Yes, there is only so much we can do. He will be a good dad and husband because he will not want to make the same mistakes like his dad. There will also be other "positive male role models" in his life.
I am so grateful for the men in my family and teachers in my son's life who have been serving as positive male role models.
Poor little guy says to me, "But mom, how will I keep my babies with me when I'm a dad? I'm a boy, I can't make babies and keep them forever."
Oh my god, tesla, are you trying to make me weep? That's just the saddest thing ever.
But on the flip side, I love reading the absolutely perfect answers you always have for teslet. You're a wise mommy!
The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous!
When ds was 7... He said ..
"Mom I am actually quite glad my dad is not a good dad....as now I know I know how to be the best dad ever. I will just do the opposite that my dad does".
Bless the hearts of all our kids who have a useless parent.
“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”