My hope is this will be the final chapter of a soap opera that now has our children feeling the most pain. The endless phone battles with my soon-to-be-ex-wife have become quite contentious as this emotional rollercoaster is in full swing, but you can see the pain showing in the children’s eyes.
Each child loves their special place as this once thriving family has split right down the middle. Our oldest has chosen to spend almost all of her days with me, while the younger two have chosen their mother’s place of residence.
What is most prevalent is you can see the sadness, anger, and every little detail these children exhibit more clearly as each day passes. Every one of them feels the pain starting to set in as the battle that seems to be never ending finds a new place in this once happy house.
This week was no exception as the children were told by their mother that her relationship with her “special friend” has now blossomed into something more. I knew this, but did not want them (the children) to become involved with the disturbing news until the ink was dry on this sad situation. No child needs to know their mom has a new boyfriend, moreover, the details and plans of their relationship.
The questions coming from these little souls are endless and the “why” factor has set-in with answers that kill me to explain. Everything from, “Why has mommy hurt you?” to “Why does mommy have a new boyfriend?” to “Why is mommy’s boyfriend moving near us?”
It saddens me to explain even as others advise me to lie and not tell them the real answers, but what kind of example am I showing, moreover, they will find out in the end. I just reiterate to our children about honesty, respect, and sometimes in life people make decisions that are required to make them happy. I hide as much emotion possible when this rollercoaster hits, but you can tell they (the children) feel my pain.
My 11 year-old, who I call the “CEO” of the family, came to me with a note that proves my point that children see everything. She (my daughter) asked me to read a letter she wrote to one of her friends. Apparently, her friend was looking for attention by faking an injury and using crutches and bandages to entice others to help her around school.
As I read this letter, a tear fell from my eye as my daughter explained in her letter that what she (her friend) was doing is lying and she should step up and tell the truth about her actions. My daughter goes on to explain how important it is to be yourself because people will judge you and not take you seriously as a friend.
After reading this letter, I walked over to my daughter and gave her the biggest hug. She looked perplexed by my actions and asked me why my eyes were red. I explained to her how proud I was for her honesty and told her to follow that path for the rest of her life. Most important, I told her that a clear mind is a productive one and people who lie will never be productive.
My hope is this open book about my life will inspire others to follow the same path of honesty, respect, and to think of your children before you do something stupid. So many others have chosen this path of deceit, selfishness, and just plain giving up without thinking of their children.
Divorce has become so rampant in these tough times the ultimate losers are the off- spring of those who just plain give up when times are tuff. What kind of example are we showing the next generation of leaders who ultimately will be taking care of us someday?
Jerry Scott Maldonado is the author of the soon to be published “Columns, Quotes & The American Dream.” He is a featured columnist for The D.C.G. Network of news sites: Sundaynewscape.com, Onequestionnews.com and Imperialvalleynews.com. Jerry’s work has also been featured internationally.