Wednesday, August 29, 2012

When an omission makes a statement

“I love my kids – they’re my whole world.” Sometimes that statement makes me cringe. Especially if I know that the mom who said it is in a meaningful relationship with the dad. I always hope he doesn’t find out that she’s letting everyone know what’s most important in her life and he didn't even warrant a mention. What IS that? 

It’s a glaring omission. I get an image in my head (it’s unfortunately unoriginal, but hey, it’s what pops up): a small island in the middle of a vast sea. Mom and kids are on the island, hugging. Dad is adrift just off shore, in a rowboat with no oars; close enough to see what going on, but apparently uninvited to join. Oy.

Hubby and I were together for about nine years before we were blindsided surprised by my pregnancy. We hadn’t scheduled kids into our agenda yet, so the idea took a while to blossom into prenatal joy and excitement. I was naïve, of course, and was a bit resentful toward the impending newcomer. It felt like I was going to have to take the affections I had for Hubby away from Hubby in order to give them to the new baby. And it made me quite sad. I never wanted to put anyone before the love of my life. 

I learned, to my delight, that love and affection don’t come in limited quantities; that you can always make more. No one has to be shorted in order for someone else to get some. One’s world tends to expand in a family situation, and there’s plenty of room for everyone.

So where along the way - and how - does someone get left out of a proclamation of love, when they were there from the beginning and are still there?

Maybe she thinks, “Oh, he KNOWS what I mean”, or, “Pffft – he doesn’t care”. Hmmm, really?  Quite an assumption there.  OK, maybe he wouldn't have been offended.  But what a missed opportunity to make someone feel special. 

Breaks my heart every time.

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