Our youngest just turned four years old.
A couple nights ago, I was reading to him and his next older sibling. This was a new book to us; a story about the Bear family. There was a storm, you see, so Baby Bear woke up Papa Bear because he was scared, and Papa Bear lifted the covers and let Baby Bear get into bed where he could cuddle up all safe and warm between Papa Bear and Mama Bear. (I was curious as to where this was going to go, given that I let my own Baby Bear sleep in my bed whenever he asks, which is only every single night.)
“Daddy?” my little one interrupted. He asks more questions than these short books have words. “Daddy? Why are the Mama Bear and the Papa Bear sleeping in the same bed?”
[please pause a moment.]
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my four-year-old asked me why Mama and Papa would sleep in the same bed.
Penny and I have been living separately for about a year and a half. Our divorce hits the one-year mark right around now. (I haven’t actually memorized the date, and I deliberately didn’t post news of the divorce *on* the date that it happened, so I’d have to actually find the paperwork in order to be sure of when, exactly, the divorce was finalized.)
It’s amazing, though, how quickly our “new” life became normal. The youngest takes our new arrangement for granted. And truth be told, his big sibs continue to seem well-adjusted, too.
And while the kids seem all happy and well-adjusted… I haven’t even gotten around to defining my new life yet!
I guess it’s okay to model being a healthy, single dad who is comfortable flying solo to my kids. At the same time, as some of my faithful readers have surmised, I have not been staying home, alone, with no one to talk to when the kids are with their mother.
But I’m also thinking that at some point, it’ll be time to model being a healthy dad in a healthy, grown-up relationship. I want my kids to know what a healthy relationship looks like. There’s no rush, and I’m not going to push it, nor bring home someone before that someone is likely to play a role in their lives.
Still… that question…