Broke the news to the kids last night. I had hemmed and hawed since the official break-up as to how I would tell them. I never came up with a song and dance routine, so as I was preparing dinner, I just called them near to me and dropped the bomb. First, silence. Then opposition. Will we still hang out with them? I thought you loved each other? What went wrong? We really won't hang out with them anymore? What about Emma? Can I invite her to my birthday?
I had never before introduced a suitor to my children. I've witnessed a friend parade no fewer than 50 men in front of her son over the last five years and I didn't want to do that to mine (nor do I desire to be a serial dater). I swore I'd not bring my kids into my mid-life whatever-this-is, so early on I promised myself that only the absolute finest of men would enter their lives. The Poet was my first romantic interest they met. He had the burden of initiating them (or did they initiate him?) to the wondrous world of post-divorce dating. Our first few hang-outs were fabulous. The Poet and I knew we'd hit the jackpot. The kids were having a great time. His loved me. Mine loved him. They all loved each other. Life was good. As time wore on, so did the newness. Little bits of bickering here and there...occasional resentment for time consumed by the outsider....but for the most part, it was lotsa fun and games and laughter and general happiness.
Until, of course, now.
The two young ones cried upon hearing the news. The big one was visibly conflicted. But as the evening wore on, they began reminiscing fondly of the times we'd spent together, the lessons learned and the general silliness that we'd all enjoyed as a family in the making. It warmed my heart to see them working through their emotions openly and positively. This won't be an instant recovery. There will be lots of moments in the coming weeks and months that we will find ourselves missing the good times we shared. But from what I've seen thus far, I'm pretty sure we'll all heal together nicely.
I don't think we've absorbed all of the lessons from this chapter just yet, but am certainly feeling better about having involved those little souls. They appear to be resilient, thoughtful and loving. Guess it's their turn to teach me a thing or two.