I waited for a over a year to even think about dating after WXH drove off into the sunset to start his new life.
I have an open, honest relationship with all my children, so when I asked one day, whether my son thought it was okay for Mommy to start dating, and what he might want from that, he said,
"Find a man that doesn't yell like Dad did. That doesn't get mean and angry. That doesn't make you sad. Find someone who is nice to you mom."
It was at that moment that I realized, even with his young age, he saw, he knew, he felt what had been going on.
He recognized his dad's behavior, and rejected it, wanted something better, for both of us.
Even when we wish they didn't, even when we hope that they are protected from all the crap that goes on, they know. They see. They might not understand, but they know what feels good, and what doesn't.
The best thing you can teach them is to value themselves, and the only way you can do that is by doing it for yourself.
I will never forget that conversation.
True. Honest. And very real.
They learn from us, every single day.