Little Man’s Question

When Little Man was fourย years old, he asked a question that I knew would come up eventually, although I had hoped it wouldn’t come up for a couple more years at least.

“Mommy, why do you call Grammy ‘Susan’ and Nannie ‘Jane’ instead of calling them ‘Mama’?”

I explained that both of them were stepmothers, wives my dad had after marrying my mom, and that was why I referred to them by their first names.

“But where’s your mom?”

How do you explain to a four-year-old–one with plenty of questions, at that–a mother choosing to leave behind her own kids? Not easy, but I tried to keep it simple.

“My mom wasn’t able to be a good mommy to your aunt and me, so she decided not to be a mommy anymore and left. But that was okay, because we went to live with my Grandma, who took really good care of us.”

He thought over this for a bit and looked rather angry. “But don’t you hate your mom for leaving you?”

“No. Not everyone is cut out to be a mommy, so it was okay.”

“Well, I hate her. She shouldn’t have left you.”

He was fuming by now. I pulled him into my arms for a big hug and told him that it was okay, not to worry about it.

“You’d never leave me,” he stated while I held him close.

“Never,” I promised.


Little Man brings up my mom leaving occasionally, and tonight was one of those nights. While the four of us were laying on our king-size bed talking and playing, he made a very random comment about how he can’t stand my mom because she left me. It came out of left field, as his comments regarding my mom usually do. Sometimes I wonder if I should have told him something different (what, I don’t know), since it bothers him.

“What got you to thinking about that?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t think that I would ever leave you, do you?” I asked, hoping that didn’t have anything to do with his comment.

LM laughed. “No, silly, I know you’d never do that. And if you did, you’d take” he points at himself, his sister, and his dad “with you.”

 

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42 thoughts on “Little Man’s Question

  1. Girl that is bittersweet ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜Š happy ending for you- but Im sure the pain of a mom leaving never goes away and I’m sorry you or anyone that has had a parent leave them or abandon them has had to reconcile with that emptiness ๐Ÿ˜”- and what can come out of the mouth of babes ๐Ÿ˜ฏ LM is super perceptive and in tune to your feelings- so sweet ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That Little Man is just amazing. I bet you hugged him to bits. This is gonna be one of those posts you pull out when he is an rebelious teenager, and you’ll make him read it and say: “SEE? YOU THOUGHT I WAS AWESOME SO EAT YOUR VEGGIES AND DONT DRINK AND DRIVE.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a beautiful empath is little man. It’s adorable how much he understands what pain your mum not being around may have caused and how protective he is of you. It is good to hear he is so secure in knowing that you would never leave him and how much you love him! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s always interesting the conversations we have with our kids about dysfunctional childhoods. My father left when I was a year old, and despite a couple of attempts at reconciliation in my early twenties, we’re still estranged. I have no other family because everyone else is dead, and about a year or so I asked Andrea is she ever wondered or wanted to meet her living relatives on my side. Right now all the family she knows is Jason’s family, and while I’m not in contact with my father or my half-brothers, I know where they are. I wanted to let her know that if she was curious and wanted to meet them, it wouldn’t offend me or make me uncomfortable and I would understand. She said point blank, “Nah. I figure if he cared about you, he would have reached out. The fact that he hasn’t made any effort to contact you the entire time I’ve been alive says he’s not worth seeing.”

    From the mouths of babes…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anxious Mom says:

      Good for her, what a smart one! My husband’s dad is kinda the same–only comes around when he wants something, and LM doesn’t know him by sight. Once when he told LM he was his grandpa at age 5, he said something to the effect that he must not be much of a grandpa if he doesn’t know who he is ๐Ÿ˜ณ

      Liked by 1 person

      • We even had an experience about ten years ago where a friend sent me a clipping from a newspaper obit. My father’s father had died (a man I had never met) and I was listed in the obit with my maiden name. It was so odd to see that he included me at all, and that if they were going to include me that no one had bothered to use Google to see that I was married or to see if they should list a grandchild. It was all very strange.

        That’s the part that baffles me the most. Or maybe not baffles so much as tells me where I stand. If he wanted to reach out, he so easily could. If you Google my name (even my birth name or my maiden name), there’s lots of info on where I am and how to get a hold of me. Clearly, not something that interests him.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. My $0.2 is that being honest with LM was the right thing to do, and you explained it in a very good way, on his level. If we are honest with our kids, they will be honest with us. At least, that’s what i believe. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anxious Mom says:

      It must be working, because the couple of times I have caught LM in a lie (or knew he was lying anyway), he fessed up on his own. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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